I can cause such a stink
Too often I find myself relating to the mother in this cute yet smelly story.
The mother of six children walked into her home one day to see all her children huddled together in a circle. She approached them to see what had evoked such intense interest, and she could hardly believe her eyes.
To her horror, in the middle of the circle of children were several baby skunks. She immediately screamed at the top of her voice, "Children! Run, run, run! Out, out, out!"At the sound of their mother's alarmed voice, each child quickly grabbed a baby skunk and headed for the door. The screaming and panic, of course, set off the instinctual danger alarm in the skunks, and each of them quickly dispelled its horrible scent. Each child and the house itself were doused with an aroma that lingered for weeks, regardless of intense scrubbing and use of disinfectants.
Oh, I have been the mother in this story more times than I would like to admit. I have reacted to a situation with a scream or harsh voice and caused such a stink that sometimes it takes days or weeks to rid itself. The smell of skunk is all too familiar after living in the foothills for five years.
Most often my children receive the worst of my reactions when I am tired, preoccupied, or in a hurry. Yesterday afternoon I had one of those moments. I was tired. My decision to rise early had caught up with me. I was preoccupied with all that needed to happen at the same time. Dinner prepared, two kids to sporting practice, another to a musical audition, my seven year old son's one missing cleat (which I knew had been played with and worn by a two year old) and to top things off the realization that the last time we saw his brand new soccer ball was on Saturday at his brother’s football game in another town. So, here I was like the mother in this story ranting and raving through the house when suddenly I got a whiff, it wasn’t pleasant but I could smell the stink.
I imagined each of my children running for cover and the stink of my words lingering with them not only for days, but weeks and even years. I stopped (this time), "Lord please help me," took a deep breath and said to myself, “what does it matter if we don’t eat dinner until later, or if someone is late, or if he wears tennis shoes to practice and honestly who cares about a silly ball which is so easily replaced. My kids are not. And would you believe that we found the lone ranger cleat, everyone made it to practice and auditions in one piece, my kids did not go hungry and Wal-mart sells soccer balls.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
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