READ : Matthew 5:33-37
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Prov. 12:18)
Words can either bloody a person or apply a healing balm. Because the tongue either hurts or blesses all relationships, Solomon saw fit to include in every chapter of Proverbs one or more sayings about this tiny, yet powerful, member of our bodies.
It was early in Holy Week. As a campus pastor, I was looking forward to celebrating Easter with students. Then the phone rang bringing the worst possible news. My eldest sister had been killed by a drunk driver. Her funeral service would be Easter afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona.
Friends stopped by to offer condolences. One visitor stands out. A pastor friend held my right hand and shoulder firmly, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “I’m so, so sorry.” A healing word. A word of identification. How simple. How wise. How kind. At such a time, sorry is exactly what a mourner feels so deeply; sorry for the painful loss, sorry for the broken family circle, sorry for a changed future. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
If you ever wonder what to say to a grieving friend, try saying, “I’m so sorry;” a wise word, a healing word.
Lord, make my tongue an instrument of your healing to those in pain. Amen.