- "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" James 3:5
- "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." James 3:6
- "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind." James 3:7
- "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8
- "With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God." James 3:9
- "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." James 3:10
Well, maybe...I always have a few things to add...
People who have known me most of my life will tell you "lovingly" that I have a propensity for opening my mouth and inserting my foot. It's called "putting my mouth in motion before I put my brain in gear." It's also known as not thinking before speaking...and it can get me into a lot of trouble! That is one reason why I have taken up writing...my computer has a "delete" button...my mouth does not! I can write something here and go back and look at it and re-read it and think about it before I push the "publish" button on my blog page. I honestly do try to do that religiously...proofread, check for typos, check for spelling errors, and most of all...check for how honestly and kindly I have spoken in word and print. Sometimes things slip through the cracks...I get in a hurry to get it finished and published so I can get to bed. I hate to leave something unfinished to complete in the morning...I'm always afraid I will lose the "moment" and won't be able to complete the writing with the same fervor with which I started it. But I am always thankful when I re-read something I've written and don't feel embarrassed by what I see in print.
Last night I made a mistake. I spoke too quickly without thinking, partly in jest, but without weighing the possible ramifications and consequences that could happen by inflicting these remarks upon the heart of someone I love. As soon as the words escaped my lips I knew I had said the wrong thing and that a barbed arrow had stricken the heart of my child. I could not recapture my words...the damage was done, and my son was gone...out the door...for a ride in his car...to escape before the hurt and anger my careless words had incited could flare up and respond back to me with fury.
When the full impact of what I had said and how it was taken hit me, I immediately repented in "dust and ashes"...but all that I could see was the dust stirred up by his retreating vehicle. Repeated attempts to call him on his cell phone elicited no response. I knew I had made a horrible mistake. So all I could do was pray...pray to God confessing my error, asking forgiveness from God, and also asking God to help my son find forgiveness for me somewhere in his heart. As I paced back and forth in my yard I pleaded to God to give me another chance to tell him how sorry I was...I prayed for his safe return and an opportunity to confess my mistake and ask for his forgiveness. You can only imagine how grateful I was when I saw his car returning up the road a few minutes later. Even though he was not quite ready to talk about it right away, after a few minutes he opened his door to me and let me back into his heart. We had a wonderful mother-son talk, and cleared the air about things that were troubling him and me as well. It was a happy ending, with tears from both of us, and hugs and forgiveness. Thank you, Jesus, for this second chance!
This morning my son left for his 40 minute commute to his job up the interstate highway. He was in good spirits and I knew that everything was back to normal between us. As he went out the door I told him to have a safe trip and that I loved him. He said he would be careful as always, and that he loved me too.
Thirty minutes later he called us on his cell phone, crying and scared. He had just been in an accident. He was okay, his car was damaged but not totally destroyed as far as he could tell, but another vehicle involved in the accident did not fare as well...the driver of that vehicle was killed instantly when his van rolled and flipped and literally flew over my son's car and landed on the other end of it in the swamp alongside the highway. My son jumped out of his car, unhurt, and called to the other vehicle, but there was no response. It was a horrible, grisly scene. My son was alive...but someone else's son was not.
Tonight I am praying for the mother and father and possible wife or children of that man, who remains unknown to us. My son was restored to me safe and sound...and with a second chance to live his life. This other man was not given another chance. I can only pray that he had left his home this morning with nothing left hanging between himself and his loved ones...or his Savior. I pray that tonight he his safe in the arms of Jesus...and that God Himself is comforting his family and undergirding them with His love and strength.
Tonight I will hug my son again and tell him how much I love him, and how thankful I am that God has spared his life for whatever purpose He desires. I will again thank the Lord for giving me a second chance to repent and be forgiven for words spoken in haste. I will think before I speak again...and pray before I put my mouth in motion. I may not get another chance next time.