Our Words

I had the pleasure of going to the grocery store with both of my children today.  They are quite well-behaved but this particular grocery store is ALWAYS busy and the aisles seem extra tight.  My kids like to ride, one on each side, which keeps them conveniently near and gives me one less thing to worry about.  Well today, of course, seemed extra busy and we were doing our best to stay out of the way of others.  We had passed an older gentleman once and he seemed slightly perturbed by the girth of my cart.  Low and behold, we ended up in the next aisle with him.  This time we did have a problem, because there was a supporting beam going down one side of the aisle, and then in my lane a box of halloween candy blocking the path.  These obstacles changed it from a two-lane path to more of a one and a half-lane.  Of course, my kids were preoccupied with each other, chatting across the cart, so it took me an extra second to inform them that they needed to get off to make room for this man to pass.  In the meantime, the man got very upset, shaking his cart and saying "g-dammit" kind of under his breath.  We passed by going in our opposite directions.

Normally, this event would be very upsetting to me.  I was racking my brain of "what I could say" if we happened to pass ways again... However, the Holy Spirit nicely reminded me of some of the things I've been contemplating lately.  The first was a post from Alisa Hope Wagner's blog, called Stop Cursing.  It's a tremendous article (that I highly recommend you stop by to read) but the gist of it was that our words have power to them.  We have the power to bring life and death to people.  The thoughts in her article, were later re-affirmed to me when I read Ascent from Darkness.  Because of both of those readings, I've become acutely aware of the power of our thoughts and words, and I've had no desire to be an unconscious participant in satan's business.

So as I pushed my cart down the aisles I spent time in prayer, "Lord, how would you have me to react to this man?" I was reminded of the Scriptures, which say to bless those who curse you, to pray for your enemies.  So I began to pray for that man.  I don't know what happened in his day, or his life for that manner to make him so angry at that moment. But as I prayed I was filled with compassion for him, and prayed that the untapped value in him would be revealed and that he would know the power and the love of the Lord in his life.  We didn't run into each other for awhile, which I was glad about, since I was still coming into agreement with the Lord about the best way to handle this.  But several aisles later, I saw him.  The Lord just told me to smile at him.  And I did, thinking in my head, the Lord loves you.  Lo and behold, he smiled back...  At that moment, he didn't seem like such a mean, old, cranky man to me anymore.

So I share this with you, not to give myself a pat on the back, but hopefully to make all of us more acutely aware of the power of our thoughts, words and actions.  Even in something so small as an incidence at the grocery store, we have the power to choose.  If we choose life, we can carry the truth of God's love in us and allow it to overflow from our hearts to others.  Like I said above, I personally have no desire to join with the enemy in spreading ugliness and hatred towards others.  Today, let us surrender to the beauty of the Lord's way and spread His love.

In Christ,

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