Sticks and Stones

 Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." We've all quoted this line at least once or twice in our childhood. A phrase that has been a rebuttal to someone who has said something cruel to us. Oh how I wish this were true, that words never hurt. But the power of words can cut us deeper than any physical wound could. The actions of others in our lives, whether they are strangers, friends, or family can leave us bitter, angry and wanting revenge.
The ugliness of what words can do hit me at my own home yesterday. While standing on my front porch talking to my sister on the phone a car drove by. Some girl in the backseat, whose identity was shielded by tinted windows, stuck her hand out the window, waved and said "Hi nigger." Needless to say I hollered back some not so nice language. Here I was in my own yard and minding my own business. It hurt me to my very soul. Richard wrapped his arms around me and tried to comfort me as best he could. I had the urge to beat that girl silly. But all I could do was bury my head on my oldest daughters shoulder and cry. I've been fighting against harboring any bitterness for this young girl, trying my best to muster a pray for her. Now I'm finding myself running the event over in my head like some bad episode. Honestly I'm struggling with having any compassion, forgiveness, or any feeling for this girl, other than giving her the whooping she deserves.

All these emotions flooded me and my mind was consumed with getting "even." However, I know that's not how you handle the situation. Some people might say "Oh anybody can be a n----r. Well, no they can't. This was a word specifically given to African-Americans, to demean, humiliate, and bully. This is not just a word, this was a stone aimed and fired at me. "Lord" I say "please don't let me be bitter, and angry. Help me to forgive because I don't want to."

She needs Jesus, just like anyone else. I'm trying to remember that, though wounded from her stone. And this is another lesson that I will learn about the grace of God, healing, praying and loving those who hate me just because my skin color is different.

10 comments:

laundrygirl April 2, 2008 at 9:41 PM  

I have been on the receiving end of that word and all I know is that it feels like a punch in the center of your chest, knocking the wind out of you. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can't authentically give you any words of encouragement with regard to compassion and forgiveness because in that situation, I'd have a hard time "rising above" and embracing forgiveness with the sting of this cruelty still in my face.
I pray that God would mend these scars and open the eyes and hearts of others in the midst of all of this so that we would learn, understand and consider how hurtful we can be if left to small thinking.
And even then, this prayer seems feeble and awkward considering the enormity of the situation.

co_heir April 3, 2008 at 6:25 AM  

I am so sorry you had to go through this. May God give you grace.

Evette April 3, 2008 at 8:00 PM  

Kristine, you hit the nail on the head. It does fell like someone has literally punched you in the chest and knocked the air out of you. It scares you and leaves you unwilling to trust and take chances on others.

Co heir thank you for your prayer. It really means a lot to me.

Joy April 3, 2008 at 8:20 PM  

You know my heart in this! I am so sorry... (when you told me) I immediately felt the need to reach out and touch you, hug you, as if that could somehow help to bind the wound, feeble as it was... I still can't believe it happened. To you. You! I want to go whoop them myself- how dare they say something of someone so precious to me personally, and a daughter of the Most High? That is the only comfort I feel I can offer- to remind you that you are His! And that you are loved. And that they are horribly, horribly wrong. I second Kristine's prayer.

:..Rebekah..: April 4, 2008 at 11:54 AM  

Evette,
I'm so sorry. I don't have the words to give you the deep comfort for your soul that can heal, but the Holy Spirit, the comforter, does have the words that can be a balm to your heart. Rest in the Word of God, and trust in him to bring justice....he will. Not only were you sinned against, but he was sinned against too, and it will be made right by Him. Hold on to that knowledge as he comforts you....

Chris Alford April 4, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

Evette i am so sorry this happened to you~~~
i haven't checked your blog in a few days, furthermore missed you at moms group(now i know why), and i even saw you last night w/out realizing you might have still been hurting inside from all of this!

I am so encouraged by your realness about the situation~ how it angered you and it should-
i know God was hurt and angered as well. Confession:i'm angry too...I'm saddened by the whole event, my soul is grieving inside for that young girl and her misguided or lack of education (sometimes i feel strongly that there was NO lack of education though...)
i could be very judgmental about this, but it would probably come out just as bad as how she sounded toward you except it would be aimed at her...i would have to agree to the whooping, but add that her parents might need one big whooping along with her...
it doesn't remove the hurt or even ease it as i would like for it to, but i have to think of how God will sadly have His say in this...it is my prayer that He wouldn't have to be too harsh and that she would see her ways and turn from them before she has to answer to Him...
At the end of the day, i am proud to know you and be called friend with the way you are handling this, you are certainly reminding us all of how we are to be in times like this we are to be The Word to and for people, we are supposed to be in the Word for ourselves too.
Father, thank you for calling us friends and looking way beyond what we look like on the outside---thank you for giving us humans mouths, for words and the ability to speak...forgive me for times i have not spoken at all when i should have spoken up or when i have not spoken kindly of and to others sometimes knowingly and sometimes in ignorance, i ask for Your Word to come from my tongue from now through eternity, i ask for strength and wisdom to continue to flow through my awesome and fun friend Evette. Thank you for protecting her and her family from any physical harm during all of this, please continue to wrap your arms around them and hold them. Please be Her strong Warrior and assist her in keeping her Joy, don't allow the enemy to steal kill or destroy her Peace and Joy in You~~~

Your daughter and friend,
kristina alford (Chris' wife)
;-)

Evette April 4, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

Rebekah, Joy, and Kristina

You guys are such a blessing to me. I thank God often for my sisters in Christ. Especially during times like these. Your words of prayer, comfort, and encouragement are very much welcomed, appreciated, and felt. I love you guys!

Meleah Harrell April 7, 2008 at 7:01 PM  

Evette,
This reminds me of a story my grandmother (a very wise old Cherokee Indian woman) told me when I was young. It is called "The Wolves Within Us"...enjoy!
An old grandfather Indian Chief spoke softly to his young grandson, who had come crying to him with anger in his heart towards a friend who had embarrassed him in front of all their friends. The grandfather explained that he too had felt great anger and even hate towards people at times for being mean to him. Grandfather said that hate only wears the person doing the hating down and does not hurt the person who has caused you great sorrow. He said that he had struggled with many emotions throughout his life and compared them to having two wolves inside him.

Grandfather explained one wolf is good and does no harm. This wolf likes people and wants to live in harmony with everyone around him. This wolf has the emotions of peace, love, hope, kindness, compassion, generosity, empathy, faith, and serenity. The other wolf is bad and full of anger and hatred towards others. His emotions are ones of envy, sorrow, self-pity, greed, resentment, prejudice, lies, false pride, superiority, arrogance, and regret. Grandfather said it was hard having both of these wolves living inside him,and they were living inside everyone else too. He said the wolves are always competing to see who is the strongest and who will dominate our spirit and claim our soul.

The grandson thought about what his grandfather had just told him and a concerned look came over his face. “Grandfather” he asked, “Which wolf wins?” The Grandfather hesitates for a moment and looks straight into his grandson’s eyes, places his right index finger on his grandson’s heart and quietly states, “The one you feed.”

AMEN

Evette April 7, 2008 at 8:38 PM  

Melah

How true! I choose to feed the good. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

John April 10, 2008 at 4:27 AM  

Evette,

I'm so sorry you had to experience that kind of ugliness. I have never had to endure anything like it myself, but I think I got a taste of the Father's heart the other day. I am one of the leaders of a homeless church. I have another church I am part of as well.

In one of the discussions, one sister referred to "bums on the street." I was cut to the bone with that and I'm not personally homeless.

The use of words to intentionally take away the value of a human being hurts our Father's heart.

I believe that's why Jesus said whatsoever you've done to the least of these my brethren, you've done also unto me.

I pray for the Holy Spirit to bring his comfort and healing into this situation. I also pray for the Lord to reach out to those who continue to exhibit hatred. May God change their hearts and bring them to repentance.

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