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Words that Wound...

When I was about 10-12, I hung-out with a group of boys my age at church. One of the guys, Kevin, was very annoying. You know, the kind of kid that says the wrong thing at the wrong time and embarrasses you in front of the girls, etc.?

Anyway, one week we were are gathered in a circle talking before church and one of the kids said, “Where’s Kevin?” “Who cares?” I replied with a snort and everyone laughed.

Just then my mother walked up to our group and said, “Did you boys hear? You should try to give some comfort to Kevin’s Mom. Kevin died suddenly this week and she’s very sad.”

I was shocked, embarrassed, guilt-ridden and changed…for life!

Kevin had been bitten by a mosquito carrying a very rare, but deadly virus. Within two days of the bite, he was gone. Needless to say his family and his church family were devastated!

The next few days are a blur in my memory. What I DO remember is the shame I felt for my dismissive statement. I've never forgotten how the realization that anyone can die--suddenly. Thus, our last words to them or about them may be the words we're about to speak.

I can't claim to have lived this out perfectly, but it is good for me to occasionally remember Kevin...and my own sin. My goal is to speak kindly and graciously in case what I say is that last thing said to or about someone God loves.

To that end,

Pastor Joel

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