Right now, my church is starting over. We are launching in to a new time after our 60th Anniversary Celebration plus the renewal of church life after our time worshiping separating thanks to a world-wide pandemic. It’s a time to invite friends to church, both members we haven’t seen in a while, or new folks who are searching for a church home.
In this time of starting over, our rector is sending out an email a day–a reflection from a few members of our congregation to help us all with starting over. You may even see a few of mine on here in the upcoming weeks as I share them.
But, for today, I wanted to share the one that popped in my inbox. My sweet friend, Karen, contributed this piece. It struck me hard. Especially the last paragraph before her poignant question at the end. I asked myself, “How often could I have done things differently?” and “How often have I said the wrong thing?”
But, most importantly, her words inspired me to be different, speak different, and love different. Incorrect adverb usage and all.
I love y’all!
|The Right Words |
“Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request’.” (Esther 7:3)
Queen Esther thwarted a genocide against the Jewish people. And she saved her people without an army or battle armor. Her only weapon was her words.
Esther was justified to be outraged. The Jewish people were under attack. Haman had convinced the King (Esther’s husband) to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jewish people throughout the land.
Instead, Esther inserted herself into the dialogue and made the argument personal. She appealed to the King for the lives of her people and herself.
There is plenty to be outraged about in our own time. When an injustice has been committed, it is easy to be outraged. And in true Spinal Tap fashion, our outrage is always dialed up to 11.
But if I shout at you and you shout at me, who hears anything? Who is listening? Our outrage should be a call to action; a means to right a wrong. And we can’t do that if we’re not using our words diplomatically to further negotiation. We know how to weaponize our words to humiliate, divide, bully and offend. But can we use our words to solve problems, to make peace and unite?
There probably won’t be many situations where we individually will be able to stop a genocide with our words. But maybe with the right words we can start a dialogue and that dialogue could change the world.
Is there an issue in your life that could resolved using more diplomacy and less outrage?
~This reflection was written by a sweet friend who is one of the kindest people I know.