Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"I'm Sorry I Ever Met You"

I just pulled in to our driveway from picking up my son from school, when I noticed a young man walking down the street by our house. When I walked around the car, we made eye contact and I said hello to him. He said hello, and seemed friendly enough, then he stopped and asked if I had a cell phone he could borrow to call a friend. That's when I noticed his hand. It was swollen, and cut very badly. I told my son to go get the first aid kit, and searched for my phone. I asked him if he was OK. He said he had spoken with the pharmacist (we live just down from a Walgreens) and they said he probably broke his pinky, and that he needed stitches. I asked him if it hurt, and he said his feelings were hurt much worse. Seems his girlfriend kicked him out of their house, and her parting words were that she was sorry she had ever met him.

I could see in his eyes that he was hurt emotionally. He was working hard to keep from crying, and as he made arrangements to be picked up, he kept his emotions in check. I went through the first aid kit, told him no one should ever hear those words, and let him know I would pray for him. His ride came and he waved a grateful wave.

My brother has been preaching a series on holding our words in check, emphasizing how we are stewards of our words. I believe that whole heartedly. Words can and do cut more deeply and cause more damage than sticks and stones. But to hear a statement like "I'm sorry I ever met you" is devastating. See, we all have people who impact our lives, good and bad. Even the bad ones teach us things about ourselves, make us step up and stand up for ourselves and our loved ones, and force us to grow in areas we might not have grown. But what this young man had to hear was that his girlfriend wished their paths had never crossed, that she wished she never even knew him, and the pain he had to bear was far worse than his broken hand. He talked about her, not his hand.

Words cannot be undone, and they reveal the true thought and character of those speaking them. What is said after the fact does little to diminish the pain and revelations caused by them. But maybe the pain and hurt of hearing such things is what makes us willing to hear and help those in similar circumstances. It just may be the redeeming factor of such heartless actions from heartless people.

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