Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Feather Words

Sometimes it is so tempting to say things about somebody else... to speak "innocently" about this or that, when what I really have on my heart is a small grudge that wants nurturance.

I was reminded that such "small" talk is insidious, with this story from Judith Kunst's The Burning Word...

A man who had slandered a rabbi went to repent and repair the damage. "'What must I do to repair my sin?' he asked. The rabbi instructed him to get a pillow, rip it open and spread its feathers on the wind, and then return to him. The man quickly did as he was told. Upon his return, the rabbi said, 'There is one task remaining: go find and collect all the feathers, and bring them to me.' The man gasped, 'That's impossible!' And the rabbi replied, 'Yes. It is as impossible for you to re-gather those feathers as it is for you to repair the harm that your slander has worked on me...'" (pp. 116-117)

Oh, God, keep me from tossing feather words to the wind...


Blogger Andrea said...

Very true. Sometimes we "gloss over" gossip, to make it seem "ok" as a Christian. I am guilty as well.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The feather analogy works well in another way -- our words about others seem so "light" and harmless. Their very "lightness" is what makes them travel so quickly.

11:13 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Andrea & Charity... yes, we make light of things... thanks, Charity, for giving words to that with the first part of your "lightness" comment... I love your mind. :)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Yikes. I hate thinking about how my "just joking" words might not-so-jokingly hurt someone.

3:36 PM  
Blogger km said...

So true...and not just for words but any action as well. I'm definitely learning by mistakes but God is merciful and faithful!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Perfect. I am working on my last post on the tongue, dealing with gossip. I think I will link here if that's okay. I can only repeat your prayer. Excellent.

11:23 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sure, Jennifer... and my prayer would be that, as a result, we'd have less feathers floating around. :)

11:33 AM  

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