The other day, my husband made soup. The kind of soup that cleans out the cupboards and refrigerator. He let it simmer and stew and eventually, he used the immersion blender to smooth it all out.
Then, after it chilled in the fridge over night, he reheated it and served it to the kiddos.
It was spicy. Some kind of pepper had made its way into the mix. My boys didn’t want anything to do with the soup. My daughter, however, is up for anything.
She ate a bite. Then, she cried.
“Is it too hot?” Jeff asked. “Does your mouth hurt?”
She shook her head “no”. She continued to cry. Broken hearted crying.
“What’s wrong?” Jeff asked.
“I don’t want to eat it. But I don’t want to hurt your feelings,” she answered.
Oh. Her sweet little heart.
Hm. Sweet heart.
Maybe that’s what’s missing in so many interactions. A sweetness of the heart. Thinking of how our words might impact others. How we might hurt them.
Putting their feelings before our right to freedom of speech.
Considering our words as a way to serve others and build them up. Not claw them apart.
Now, I’m not saying that we should be lily livered and not speak truth. We need to do that. But, I think it’s a good investment to speak that truth in love.
Love puts the other person first. Love uses words that heal, not words that destroy.
Love doesn’t troll around, starting fights.
Love seeks peace.
Love doesn’t toss acid on the wounded. It doesn’t jab at the suffering.
Love seeks to comfort.
How can we let love inhabit our speech? Our interactions? How can we speak the truth in love, not in the desire to be right or to elevate ourselves?