Do you ever feel like you are just on a streak of sucking? That’s been my story this week. I have said things and done things and thought things that make me so so grateful for grace. I cannot fathom the terror of living in a world where karma was the only force. We’d all be so screwed. Instead, I am sitting on my couch watching snow pour down. It’s a lovely symbol of how God’s love washes away our sins, even the most crimson of stains.
One of my crimson stains this week involved inflicting harm on a stranger, Brad. Will and I were leaving a valet-only establishment, and poor unsuspecting Brad pulled Will’s car around. When I opened the passenger side door, I was overcome by the smell of cigarette smoke — a smell I detest and have a sensitivity for.
My first mistake, and it was a stupid one, was to audibly say, “Woah!”
Will, still near the rear of the car and Brad standing by the open driver door, both heard me.
Will said, “Woah what? What’s up?”
I tried to brush him off and just not answer, especially with Brad there, but Will asked again. “What’s the deal?”
Since I had not ridden there with him, I decided to try to play it off as a joke about Will.
“Just wondering if you took up smoking?” I laughed.
Poor Brad then said: “Oh, I didn’t smoke in the car. I smoked earlier, but not in the car.”
Will, trying to cover for me, God bless him, said, “No worries, my friend.”
Then Brad stabbed me in the heart by saying, “Smoking is one of the biggest regrets of my life.”
Can you please pray Brad is able to give up smoking? Can you please pray that Brad, although I’m unlikely to ever see him again, will forgive me? Sixty seconds of an unpleasant aroma did not in any way require me to react like some kind of a shrew.
We chatted with Brad for a few more minutes and Will gave him a ten spot, but how exactly do you make such an exchange right?
I’m not sure you do. The damage was done. The Bible tells us that the tongue is like the rudder of a ship. It’s tiny relative to the whole, but so powerful.
How would you rate your rudder control this week? Have you used words to encourage and lift up? Or have you instead been loose lipped with resultant undeniable damage like me?
“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
James 3:7-10 NIV
May we be ever mindful of the power of our tongue, and use it to continually praise our Lord and Father.
P.S. Except for posting this on Facebook today, I’m going to stay off social media for Lent. So if that’s the way you usually link to my blog, you’ll have to just check the website on Fridays: http://www.kristieejackson.com or hit the subscribe button and it’ll be emailed to you.
P.S.S. I’d love to know your favorite Lenten readings/devotionals. My favorite is the one pictured above, From the Grave by A.W. Tozer. If you are willing to share yours please put it in a comment here on blog, not Facebook.