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To Let Hurtful Words Go

To let hurtful words go.
To let them go up like smoke and blow away in the wind
To not capture them in a box and occasionally stick my nose in
And breathe their putridness as if I needed them to live.

To let others' foolishness or wickedness or offensiveness
Be simply silly
As I am silly sometimes
And hope everyone forgets in a hurry.

To stop sticking their words on me
With double-sided tape and globs of glue
To not press them into my heart of hearts
As if they knew the intricacies there
And that their words would touch me so.

To not take those words to the laboratory
And dissect them under bright lights
As if they were scripture.
To not stamp them onto records
And play them repeatedly on my Victrola
As if they were symphonies and I enjoyed them.
To not build my house upon them
As if they were foundational and universal.
But to let the words go
Like scents on the wind
Or flashes of color on the retina
Or the blur of bushes outside my car window.

To believe the best about someone
Even in accordance with those hurtful words—
Not to fabricate pure motives,
Or excuse them with a colorful past—
But to believe of them what God does.

They are good.
God has said it.
They are pure and right and clean
Because of Christ's blood,
Even if they have yet to see it there.
They need nothing more for God to love them.
I need nothing more from God to love them.
He has given it already.
Those discordant words have burned
In the sacrifices on the alter
Where lies all words, even the eternal one.
The Word that was from the beginning
And is with God
And is God.

Now I fall back onto those eternal words
Planted and growing in my mind:
Words worth storing in my snuff box,
Worth smelling their sweetness everyday,
Words strong enough to dissect in my laboratory,
And play again and again on my record player,
And build my house upon.
Words that say of me, "Good,"
Knowing full well the intricacies of my heart
And how these words will touch me there.


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