One of my favorite people and I sat on a favorite Potsdam ledge tonight and ended our evening with prayer. Knowing that death and life are in the power of the tongue, we tried to breath life into the body's strongest and deadliest and loveliest muscle. I won't wax eloquent too much about the tongue, it's a revolting appendage if you ask me, but tonight's post will be about the power of that speech mechanism.

On the way home I listened to unfamiliar music set to an old old song. When I was young I knew it as The Prayer of St. Patrick, I'm not sure what the young people are calling it these days:

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking.


A friend made a pact with me this week: Tease Free Week for Lore. No teasing because she's so teasable, no teasing because it doesn't breed good conversation, but mostly no teasing because of this wisdom from Proverbs 26: Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, "Was I not just joking?"

I'm not going to lie, I pride myself on my ability to take it in and dish it out. I'm not sure whether I'm more often laughing at myself or others. I like to laugh and I like that I'm easily amused and, evidently, am the source for much amusement to others. But here are my recent thoughts--all culminating in tonight's post:

The tongue is flesh, quite possibly the most fleshly part of our persons, perhaps competing with only the heart--but it is still under the will of our character. If we're speaking out of the abundance of our hearts, and the old adage about there being a little bit of truth to every tease, then friends, I'm sorry to say, my heart has desperately wicked intentions.

The only answer is to get the Word so fully in my heart that there is no room for other things. I can't make my tongue get saved, it doesn't walk through the sanctification process like our emotions and character do, it's flesh and to flesh it will return. It never reaches the pinnacle and the point when it no longer needs a daily dose of Spirit. It's one of the things, my dear friends, that will continue the forging process until that longest sleep keeps it still.

One of my favorite portions of the Bible is chapter six of Isaiah--the visual image of the two angels whose sole occupation is to proclaim 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty. The whole earth is filled with HIS glory!' Something about that, folks, gets me super excited about Heaven, where the only words I'll ever say will be filled with worship and honor.

But for now, here, in this place, on that ledge and at this dining room table, tomorrow morning, drinking coffee while the house wakes up groggily, when I am teased and when I learn to keep my mouth shut, the test is to practice for eternity.

That's my pact with you.

September 2007