Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scratch, Ding, Scrape

This weekend, I dropped my phone. No big deal, really, as I do this all the time. However, I was outside on concrete. And it was my brand new phone, my baby. One minute it was shiny and perfect. The next minute it had a ding in the silver and a scrape on the shiny black outside. Just like that, it's not perfect anymore. Now it has battlewounds that came from my own clumsiness.

The world didn't end, of course. We took Brian's Mom and Dad's truck and headed toward town as planned. I gradually forgot about my phone as I watched the gorgeous scenery go by. Baileys Mountain is seriously beautiful, especially in the spring and fall. Suddenly I became very aware of the fact that we were in Brian's Mom's very new, very perfect SUV There were pointy, gougey things all around us! Rocks, trees, and ditches, oh my! I had visions of us rolling that Escape into a ditch and wrapping it around a tree. Dinged doors and chipped paint flashed through my head. And then it dawned on me: the world is chock full of things that can scratch and ding. And life is full of the very same - opportunities to scratch, gouge, and ding each other.

How often do you speak without thinking about how your words will be received? Words hurt. They sting, poke, and chip off little bits of someone's confidence. How often do your sharp words scratch your spouse, or chip the paint off your relationship? If we're honest with ourseelves, it's probably a lot mroe often than we'd like to admit.

I know I'm guilty of this. If I'm the least bit stressed or tired, harried or annoyed, guess who bears the brunt? Brian. I usually realize it and quickly apologize, but the damage is done; his paint is chipped just a little bit. I'd love to use the excuse that we only hurt the ones we love, but he never does it to me Never. I could take a lesson from this man, and I plan to.

Spouses aren't the only people we do this to. How often does a friend's careless word break your heart? How often does something said in jest lead to a fight or the end of a friendship? We may say that people are just too sensitive, but in reality we were probably too sharp. Thoses consant little dings and scrapes are what wear us down and take the luster off our finish. How can you go about your day being the best person you can possibly be if the first person you saw today gouged you ? Whose day did you affect that same way today? Adults are one thing, but children are another question altogether. Their little souls are wounded so easily, and a careless word from an adult could alter their very personality forever. But not for the better.

So, I'm going to plan to be a little softer. A little more gentle, and a whole lot more observant of other peoples' paint jobs. Imagine if we all were a little more considerate in our daily lives, and remembered not to throw verbal rocks at those we love.

A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

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