Unforced Errors

Have you ever spoken a word in jest, or in stress, that upon reflection seemed in error? Something that could be taken in a different way than was intended? Could it have caused pain, anxiety, or exposed a part of your inner being that you are not too proud of, something unGodly that needs work? Can well intentioned actions stain the image of our better selves we try to portray? These questions cut a bit close when I look in the mirror. At times I wonder if damage done, even if unintentional, is irreversible.

I have a dear friend who suffered personal trauma, not by my hand, but near the same time we were close. Reaching out after many years, she told me what had happened and how she hid it. Though it hurt to lose contact with dear family friends, it was more painful to recall that time in her life. My innocent message unknowingly resulted in her pain and my regret for not recognizing it sooner. We decided it was best to care, and pray, from afar. Lord, please heal her scars and restore her by Your Grace and Loving Kindness. Amen…

Certain words and long forgotten memories can return to rub salt in old wounds, even though our intentions were nothing by honorable. I have seen mistakes from a lifetime ago resurface in tears of old friends who may choose to address them or simply turn away. If you find yourself somewhere in this story, please accept my apology. Lord, please reshape the rough edges that tend to sharpen my tongue.

My words are not the most eloquent, in fact, quite the opposite. Yet in offering a glimpse into my heart, I risk opening old wounds prompting, “Who is he to preach to me?” I am but a sinner redeemed by Grace, a beggar seeking a crust of bread. I hope to help you find it too.

If negative words linger for a lifetime, it stands to reason that the positive should do the same.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 NIV

The Spirit in us moves where it wills and carries the positive (while the negatives are driven by other forces). What we do not know is where they go. A leaf may blow from a tree, float on the breeze to a certain resting place, providing cover for a seedling to break through in the spring. Or it may be gathered into a fire-pit and burned. Choosing our words carefully can be the difference.

If my words have caused pain, please forgive, and hopefully forget. If they were a blessing, by the Grace of God, pass them along to another. Be the breeze that carries God’s blessings to those in greatest need. Amen…


If these words have been a blessing, pass them along to another who needs to hear. Reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and tell me your story. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.



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