The tip of my tongue is numb.
Well, technically it’s not numb. It feels more like I’ve burned it. Or like I’ve had novocaine at the dentist office and it’s in the regaining feeling stage.
For ten days now. 24/7. Numb.
My anesthesiologist said in his six years in Lynchburg, he’s only had one other patient with such a reaction. Go figure!
Recognizing this might be a kairos moment, yesterday I wondered if God might be trying to get my attention. Like Zechariah who was struck dumb because of unbelief. Or if you prefer, like Pinnochio, except instead of telling lies and donning an increasingly longer schnoz, what if my tongue was numb because I’ve been far too critical or harsh or demanding or __________________ (fill in the blank).
I pondered this thought throughout the morning yesterday but finally convinced myself that God doesn’t work that way anymore. I mean…right? And this certainly isn’t Disney World. So I put the thought aside as I noodled this half dead thing against my teeth and gums. (You try ignoring such a thing if it ever happens to you.)
And then Mary DeMuth had to get all step-on-my-toes with her suggestion to write a six word memoir. You know what first came to my mind?
“She encouraged everyone except her family.”
Just maybe there was some truth I needed to explore. The night before, I had completely lost my temper with a certain unnamed teen, for an unnamed reason. And while I didn’t “yell,” I reacted in anger and doled out a
punish consequence punishment that felt good to me at the moment, not so much to Teen.
Later, Teen tried to talk to me about the incident–even had the nerve to ask for grace. Yes, Teen used the g-word.
Don’t ask me how, but immediately and simultaneously, my heart softened and I became angry. I often ask the kids to have grace with one another.
“Give grace to your sister.”
“Give grace to your brother.”
But this? How dare Teen use my own words against me? Hard hearts can be pretty good at making excuses that defy logic.
This morning as I journaled, skimming my numb tongue against the roof of my mouth, I asked God if maybe I should be showing grace to our kids. (Duh! I know. Don’t even.)
“How do I live in the Kingdom reality with our family? What rhema/kairos am I missing about Identity? How can I move beyond repentance into true belief?
I read Luke 6:43-45. A good* man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good; … for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
This word, *good, took me to Philipians 1:6 and is Strongs #18 – agathos. It means good, in a physical and moral sense, and which produces benefit.
Somewhere along the way, “Partakers of ‘grace'” took me to 2 Corinthians 12:9 – grace/charis. Strongs #5485, from the same root as “chara” (joy) and “chairo” (to rejoice). Charis causes rejoicing. It is the word for God’s grace extended to sinful man. It signifies unmerited favor, underserved blessing, a free gift.
The very thing our children need. From me.
But that’s not all.
A few hours later, I finally opened up the Christmas present my friend Laura gave me and decided to check it out. She had prayed about twelve passages for me for the year, tied them into tiny scrolls and put them in this beautiful little vessel.
This month’s scroll? Colossians 4:2-6.
Thanksgiving. Redeeming the time (kairos). And then this, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
I might be slow, and sometimes hard hearted, but I think God is trying to get my attention. I’m sure his idea for my six word memoir would be something like this,
“She encouraged everyone, especially her family.”
May it be so.