In keeping with this week’s theme, here’s a glimpse of one of my less glorious moments. A Sunday morning exchange in the church foyer with a fellow churchgoer:

***

Me: “Hey! How are you?” (squeals and hugs exchanged)

Her: “Hi! I’m good! It’s been a busy week. The kids are out of school so we did fun stuff. How about you? What are you up to?”

Me: “Not much new. Boys are doing well, growing up too fast. I’m still writing as much as I can when not doing family stuff.”

Her: “Wow. That’s great. Are you enjoying it?”

Me: “Enjoying it? Hmmm … Yes and no. Half the time I feel like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”

(A look of shocked disbelief clouds her face followed closely by the look of horror crossing my own. I’d just said H-E-double-hockey-sticks in the foyer of my, ahem, CHURCH. While speaking with a Bible study leader.)

Me: “Oh, my gosh. Did I just say that?”

Her: “Yes. You did.” (She shifts uncomfortably in her Sunday morning finery.)

Me: “I’m so sorry. I don’t usually talk like that. I don’t know where that came from.”

(Only I do. Know where that came from. From the dark, sinister place in which lonely mothers-slash-writers dwell, causing the unleashing of untamed demons without warning.)

Her: (laughs nervously)

Me: “Again, I’m sorry. Maybe I just had a stroke.”

***

This humiliation took place at least three years ago. THREE. And I’m still thinking about it. In part a result of my embarrassment, in part a result of her response. I doubt I would’ve been nearly as embarrassed if she hadn’t disapproved.

But do you know what bothers me the most? The fact that I can clearly recall this one time I said an inappropriate “hell” in church, but I’m less likely to revisit and stew over the many times I’ve been critical, refused to offer words of forgiveness, or spewed a stream of negativity about whatever happened to be irking me at the moment.

My conclusion?

I’ve narrowed Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4 and Colossians 4:6 down to a narrow pinpoint of legalism and have clearly missed the point.

Honoring God and others with my speech is so much more than avoiding a few choice words.

Do you ever wonder if we’re making too big of a deal of some things, and not a big enough deal of others?


(pic courtesy of omironia, stock.xchng)