Please give us all lips of mercy
In just a whisper the words left my mouth, instantly without pause regret entered my heart. Tears filled my love’s eyes as the sting took hold. Staring in disbelief, neither able to speak, this was all on me. Frustrated, angry with myself for acting so childish, my words now refused to be uttered. In what seemed like forever, my mind played out the previous conversation, each time placing more focus on my response to my wife’s request.
Ashamed of it, all I could do is meekly ask forgiveness. Then as my love pondered her response, my mind drifted back to a time when I first experienced the sting of unkind words.
The children played joyfully, while in the background music rocked the radio. The morning sun was bright, warm, beaming off the faces of those gathered for a day of play. Little Timmy Graham ran unrestrained without a care in sight. Singing at the top of his lungs to the song on the radio, his joy was splashed upon all who heard. He boomed “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No not for some but for everyone.” To which one of the other children echoed, “for everyone.”
But one of those playing with them was neither impressed with the song nor Timmy’s singing. “That’s terrible! Who would love someone that sings like that?”
Little Timmy’s face turned bright red as the smile abruptly left and was replaced with a scowl. “My Mommy and Daddy love me, but nobody loves you at all!” Just as he said it, Grammy Graham was approaching with cookies and juice. “Who could use a little treat?” At once, the playing stopped with everyone running to Grammy. “Not him Grammy, not him, he is mean Grammy!”
“What does Jesus say about that?” Grammy inquired. Stopping for a moment little Timmy thought and thought. Then reluctantly he said. “We should turn the other cheek and treat them like we want to be treated.”
“That’s right my little soldier, we show Jesus how much we love Him by loving others. Now, help Grammy pass out the treats.”
Three minutes into the cookies and juice, all was back to usual with children laughing, running, singing to the radio.
Later that evening as little Timmy got ready for bed, Grammy came to tuck him in. While reflecting on the day, Grammy told him a story about a little boy whose Daddy had been taken away suddenly. She explained that the little boy felt lost, lonely, unloved. And that sometimes when people feel that way, they say things that aren’t kind.
But that Jesus wants us to show them they are loved and not alone. Little Timmy listened intensely as Grammy spoke of Jesus’s great love for all his friends. Then with a smile, Grammy asked, “Will you share Jesus’s love with them?”
“Yes Grammy,” little Timmy said, doing his best to stay ahead of sleep’s calling. And as his day came to an end, he heard Grammy softly pray this prayer over him.
Dear Jesus, give us lips of mercy that we may speak,
Grace humbly, loving, meek.
Give eyes of kindness that we may see,
Beyond mere words to other’s need.
Give us hands of kindness, open, strong,
loves true calling in joyful song.
Bless us now on our bed we lay,
Prepare our hearts for another day.
Some things never seem far away, praise The Lord this memory returned just when it was needed. I completely desire a daily reminder to control my thoughts, making them obedient to Christ. Controlled thoughts, help control my tongue. My father often told me to make sure I seasoned my words with lots of salt, in case I had to eat them. But eating my words will not remove the pain I have caused the very person I have sworn to protect from hurt.
No, my words must be filled with Grace. Only in Christ and by His Mercy are we able to move past careless words, finding the Grace for true forgiveness. So, leaning close to my bride I softly say, “I have spoken in a manner not honoring you, I am sorry. I love you please forgive me.”
She pulls me close, as tears flow from our eyes. Holding the embrace tightly, she whispers forgiveness. The divide between us erased. The confirmation of our love for each other once again proved. In my daily walk with Jesus, even with prayer and Bible study, the pressures of life have a way of causing divisions within relationships. When we allow careless words to escape our lips the divide becomes greater. Not every word that comes to mind should you speak. As my Grammy’s prayer said, Dear Jesus give us lips of mercy.