“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” Proverbs 25:11 Yesterday while window shopping with my four little chicks in tow I stopped into a home furnishing store. This particular store on this particular day seemed to be THE place for moms with children to be shopping as a mere two feet from me was a woman with a stroller occupied by twin boys, oh about 1 year old. Standing next to the woman was a sweet curly haired girl of about four and on the OTHER side of the woman was a bouncing future man of that age (around 2) that should NEVER be loose among the breakables. Well, as I looked at some faux flowers Mimi decided to pick up an uncommonly LARGE candle wrapped in a clear plastic sleeve, presumably to prevent it from being marred by rough handling. Unfortunately, the sleeve slid and the candle crashed down on the display shelf. Nothing broke; the candle was gently slid back into its sleeve and THE LOOK was cast in Mimi’s direction. As I straightened up, my eye caught the other woman’s eye. She was trying to corral the sweet girl and bouncing boy. I gave here that knowing “I’ve been there” smile when she commented to me, ” Gosh it’s times like this that we should practice population control!” My initial reaction was not charitable nor lady-like however, I hid it completely. I just gently laughed and replied:” Oh, I wouldn’t trade any of my children. They are all such blessings!” I turned to leave as did the other woman. But as I started to usher the chicks away the other woman turned back to me and quietly said, “these are my grand-children and I wouldn’t trade in any of them either.” Did those children understand if not the words their grandmother spoke but the spirit in which they were spoken? I pray they did not. And I pray too, that my children did hear the spirit in which I spoke my words for they were true. How easy it is for us to make comments that don’t really reflect our true beliefs. Hopefully when we do there won’t be any fall-out from our careless words. “For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.    How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so.” James 3:2-10

first posted April 23,  2005