A Sentinel For The Mouth
She was so loquacious as a little girl her dad called her “Windy Ellen.” As a teenager, she mastered the quick, cutting jab of the tongue that brought a cascade of laughter in her high school inner circle and left her opponent devastated at her feet. The only way I know all this is that my wife told me.
Raised in Nebraska, where a fast paced conversation makes the rhythm of Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” seem like a Gatling gun, Mary is the one who for years now has given me that cautioning look or the slight touch with her foot under the table, that puts on the brakes when my New York talking gets louder and louder, and faster and faster.
King David was so exercised about the sword in his mouth that he prayed and asked, not his wife, but the LORD to become the sentinel at this crucial gate.
“Place, LORD, a watch in front of my mouth; a guard at the door of my lips.
Don’t allow my inner self to bend toward a malicious word, toward wicked plots with men whose actions produce trouble and pain. And don’t let me feast on their delicious food.” Psalm 141:3-4
LORD, thanks for how you use the difference between Mary and me to protect me from blurting out stuff that does not build up but tears down. Thanks for the Spirit’s work in her life that gives me a daily example of someone with a guarded tongue, but when she speaks, people listen.
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