Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” NIV
My wire haired dachshund, Hoss, just didn’t seem himself after our daily hike through the bush. He seemed to be favouring his right shoulder and was moving a little more slowly than usual. Finally putting aside what I was doing I stooped down to examine him. I was shocked to discover a one inch circular hole in the right side of his chest. He had obviously been impaled by a sharp stick or branch which had ripped into him and then travelled for at least another inch between the skin and muscle wall. Due to the fact that there was next to no bleeding and he had not yelped or cried out in pain when it happened I was not aware of the injury instantly.
Fortunately however I did discover it when I did and was able to call my paramedic neighbour who arrived quickly and helped me to shave, clean and disinfect the wound while we waited for another local resident to arrive with his first aid kit to stitch it up. If the wound had not been discover and dealt with as quickly as it was, massive infection and severe pain would have resulted within a day or two or even within a matter of hours.
Impalement is dangerous and very hurtful. And sticks and branches in the bush are not the only things which can cause this type of injury to both man and beast. Sharp, unkind and thoughtless words can also be the culprit, stabbing us unexpectedly, quickly and deeply, leaving wounds which left unnoticed and untended can fester and grow in a painful and debilitating way.
The old saying sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me, is definitely NOT true. I think we have all learned this over the years. Inappropriate words and names do hurt. And when they do it is most important to recognize the damage they have done and deal with it quickly by sharing such pain either with the Lord or a close friend and praying for emotional and mental cleansing and healing.
Another thing which is also, and I would suggest even more important, is to take time to consider our words before speaking them. By so doing, we make and can take the opportunity to choose carefully between those which build up and bless, and those which rip down and harm; for pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. And who among us does not want to be such a blessing to others?
Prayer: Father God, help us to not impale anyone today with sharp, unkind or thoughtless words. Strengthen and remind us to choose pleasant words; words which are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones, the same kind of words you always use when speaking to us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.