Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mess Making Mouth: Bible/Song Meld, part 1

Two things really spoke to me this past week: the book of James, chapter 3, verses 2 through 12; and, "Tip Of My Tongue," a wonderful John Hiatt song. Not that my own actions or inability to control my mouth have anything to do with this. The Bible is in bold. The Hiatt is in italics. I end with a Proverb that I am working on mastering.

We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you'd have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.

An empty house
Is the only thing standin'
Between our lives
And the speed of sound

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything--or destroy it!

Some words flew out
And made a crash landin'
No love survived
Not a trace could be found

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.

I walked away
And you stood there tremblin'
Like a leaf
In the autum chill

By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

I broke your heart
With the back of my mind
From the tip of my tongue
To the end of the line

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue--it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer.

Now this old house won't say, no
What I'm still rememberin'
Three angry words
And the love they killed

With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image.

You couldn't say how much it hurt you
And I couldn't see the damage I'd done
'Til I watched the greatest love I've known
All come down to the slip of the tongue

Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

Well, I'd take it back
But time won't let me
No, time just takes
You further away

My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?

I watched you pack
A house full of memories
Where did you go
Lord, what did I say

"The godly think before speaking."
--Proverbs 15:28 (New Living Translation)

James quotes from "The Message" by Eugene H. Peterson's. "Tip Of My Tongue" is found on John Hiatt's BRING THE FAMILY (A&M, 1987).

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Blogger Jon Hall said...

Words... dang, they can cut, shred, tear, destroy, obliterate. Great post Doah.

1:11 PM  

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