Our (my) letter found its way to the principal's office. Since my name was signed, boldly, proudly, and first, guess who was invited in for a chat.
The effects, and consequences, of that first poison pen experience didn't deter me from being an enthusiastic participant in the circulation of "Slam Books" a couple of years later. Middle school girls can be the meanest.
And then something changed.
Attending a Youth for Christ rally in 9th grade, the Lord spoke to me in a new way.
Our God, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
You bless them by saying “You told me your sins, without trying to hide them, and now I forgive you.”
Psalm 32: 1-2 CEV
God began chiseling away at my heart. It took a while for Him to make me understand how a gift can become a curse.
So I confessed my sins and told them all to you. I said, “I’ll tell the Lord each one of my sins.” Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.
Psalm 32:5 CEV
When we returned with the letters,he put them in envelopes and sealed them, without reading them. The written purge had allowed harsh thoughts and feelings to come to the surface. Healing was something else altogether.
The pastor wasn't finished with the letters quite yet. He told us we always have a choice about our words. We can put a stamp on the envelopes and send them to the recipients. We could pull them out to read over and over again. Or we could destroy the letters.
The pastor told us that neither sending or destroying the letters, guaranteed the death of our words. We could always rewrite them.
What seemed like a somewhat harsh lesson, taught me the power of our words, spoken or written. The Lord had chiseled out a big enough hole in my heart to begin using His gift for His glory.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 RSV
To be completely honest, Dear Reader, sometimes my lack of online presence is my attempt to keep my poison pen in check. For me, social media can be a powerful temptation to spew venom once more. (That's not a social media criticism, just a chink in my personal armor.)
Dear Reader, do you have a gift you have to guard against becoming a curse? What ways has God shown you to reflect and share His glory?