>> Wednesday, July 19, 2017

She never raised her voice. But the tone and diction she used told me I was not to argue. She said, “jump” and I asked “how high?” 

I was afraid of my mother. 

They spoke softly and with a smile. I felt loved in their presence. The situation presented a conundrum. I desired to be around them, but mother declared they were going to hell.

I longed to be near my Catholic neighbors.

Oh the stories they told, punctuated with gestures and laughter. When I was with them I felt safe and secure.

My brothers sought to protect me, even though it was long distance.

I’ve been yelled at…mocked…criticized…and berated with words to cut me down. And it worked. I had no value. When I breathed, I was using air someone else needed.

Manipulation by others kept me in my corner; head bowed and as invisible as I could be.

Quietly he communicated his concept of God’s love. I sat spellbound. His words quenched a thirst within me of which I had been unaware.

That day I learned of a God quite different from the one my mother had described.

We have all had voices in our lives…some good…some bad. But what have we done with the consequences of hearing those voices? I chose to re-program the bad…which was not an easy task.

But my question today is not about the voices that spoke to us, but about the voice we are using in speaking to others.

Recently I witnessed a young mother interacting with her small daughter. What I heard in the mother’s voice was anger, resentment and weariness. What did her little girl hear?

What is my voice telling others when I speak? How about yours?

“Words are powerful; take them seriously.” Matthew 12:36 (MSG)

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