Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday of Holy Week: Compassion through Restraint

“The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” Is 50:4

“Lord, in your great love, answer me.” Ps 69:8

As I read these two verses it touched the core of my soul as scenes and glimpses of the past triggered memories of an untrained tongue causing injuries to others – words that I can never take back.  Have you read something with an open heart and the words leaps forward to awaken your conscience and tickle your heart? My heart was opened to realize that often the words that slip through the cracks of my lips have been one of remorse and painful disdain. Sometimes I can lack compassion and say hurtful things like “I told you so,” or “You knew it would happen but it was your choice”.  I say these things full of pride thinking that I am speaking the truth they needed to hear.  I say those things perhaps due to my lack of understanding, compassion, or past hurts.  I often thought to myself, “If only I had a well-trained tongue and think before I speak, I wouldn’t regret what I said to others.”  

Recently, a friend called me in tears due to her troubled marriage and difficult financial situations. Today’s reading reminded me to train my tongue not be quick to conjure solutions or compare circumstances but to simply sit in silence and listen with a compassionate heart. Just simply listening to her sorrows and reminding her of the promises that the Lord have given us.  That God loves us and He will not forsake us as long as we have faith, trust, and hope in His infinite love.  I reminded her to pray earnestly even when it is difficult to pray and no words would form.  Rebuke the lies of the enemies who want to engrain in us that we are unworthy because he is jealous of God’s love for us.  I reminded her that the Lord can hear her suffering and yearning to be held by His embrace.

In moments like this when the Lord allows us the opportunity to be in the presence of the weary may we pray, “Lord, in your great love, answer me…to have a well-trained tongue full of wisdom that we might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”  May we remember to invoke the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom to speak through us uplifting words of hope, peace, faith, and love to help them overcome the obstacles they are encountering.

Lord, help us to know when our presence in sacred silence and hearts lifted up to you unites us in solidarity with those who are weary. 

Reflected by Tuyet Nguyen

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