I know this woman. Every time I am with her it is like I am in a torrential downpour of negativity. There is no dam to stop her flow of words and thoughts. They come at a rate of hurricane status, and never once do her words slow to ask me how I am or if I am busy. When she is done, I feel I am drowning in a sea of despair. She never notices me. As a result, this relationship, which is an important one, always takes and never gives, and sometimes I try to limit my interaction with her.
When our interactions are done, I feel like years, days, and hours have been sucked away from my life. I feel heavy, overwhelmed, defeated, judged, and frustrated. I don’t know how to solve the problem. Each time I wish I knew how better to handle the situation, and each time I feel a sense of foreboding and fear that I too will use my words negatively. I fear that she is me, and I am her, and that I am trapped. I cannot seem to stop the oncoming doom. I cannot cut her out of my life. I create boundaries, and she runs over them like a truck that will not stay on the path.
This woman has me considering how to speak life and truth into others. I believe that every word that I speak to this woman is sucked into a black hole never to be pondered again, a vortex of lost words and light given unseen, which is not entirely true, as occasionally I see evidence to the contrary. But, sometimes I don’t say much at all, and I feel incapable of being vulnerable with her.
She slays me with her words, and I wonder if offering life-giving, light-filled words are worth it in return for the death I die each time her words are breathed into me.
I cannot help but wonder if she and I are both deceived in thinking she is a child of light if death is her only offering?
O, my tongue! O, my head! They hurt for the thinking of careless words said by me as well. So I know I am just as capable of speaking deadly words.
I must offer her life even if the pit of darkness swallows my words whole, and I must remind myself of His power over all the fear, the shame, His victory over death. This is how I will rise again – by speaking truth to myself, and eating His healing manna, even when I don’t know what else to do. I choose to speak, and these dry bones in me begin moving, fleshing covering them – an offering of hope in a dry and weary land.
When I speak life to her – she gets to choose which way she will go. Down to the pit or into the light. She may keep choosing the smell of decay over the sweet fragrance of hope, but maybe one day hope will be the one thing that rises and stays. He heals me, and I have to believe one day she’ll be full of light and life too. If enough life-giving words dwell into the dark – surely they will burst forth making her new and free, negativity swept away, gorged by the light?
I speak light because God tells me over and over in His word to do so, and I speak life because I know firsthand that His word is true.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it, eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21