“Let the words of my mouth be acceptable,
the thoughts of my heart before you,
LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:15
“Let the words of my mouth and
meditations of my heart, be acceptable
in Your sight, O Lord my strength”
This week there are a couple of things running through my head regarding my words. Words in general. A video popped through my newsfeed that just set my teeth on edge. There’s been a lot of that lately. Just icky, negative stuff. I don’t mind thought provoking, something to think about. However, our public square (fb) has just been nasty lately. I, clearly, do not mind snark but there’s been a meanness for a while that has just been grating. And yet, today I participated. I commented. I joined in. Then there was the comment, “well if we do this then we are no better than that person who made this video”. And the gal who commented is right. In more than one way.
Taking this video bloggers ugly comments personally is not the way to go. I did. It touched something in my human, flawed, aching soul. I commented in the thread where the vid was posted, and the comment eventually led to the above response. I had all I could do to keep from commenting on the video post. I did, by God’s grace, I think.
Well the reality is, that I am, essentially no better than the person who did the video. I have faults and failings. I take things personally to the point where it hurts so profoundly sometimes. I’m deeply, deeply feeling and pick up on the emotions of others, which is not always a good thing. I have a snarky streak a mile wide, and while this is oft not intended to be mean it can, and is sometimes received that way and feelings are hurt. This snarky streak is also sometimes protective. So, if you’re with me and it crops up in a strange place…you’ll know why.
And here is where mercy. grace, and compassion, and choosing words wisely comes into play. And patience, let’s not forget patience. There has to be a way to be kind when having discussions over things that we don’t agree on. There must be!
I remember the day when I realized that in the quilting world my words, the public and the private ones matter. They matter for everyone. It was when, standing in front of someones quilt that they’d entered into a competition and, I said, “this quilt would be more effective if this quilter did this…” Well, that’s not necessarily true, nor was it necessarily kind. I’d just set myself up as that person who is essential the person all quilters dread…the quilt police. And upon realizing that I am not the quilt police, that I am not the one who makes the decisions about what every quilter should make that we are free to make the quilts which please us, the ones that give us life, that not every quilter wants to enter their quilts in competitions, that some quilters just love making quilts for the sheer joy and pleasure of making them, that not everyone wants to be (nor should they) the quilting world changed. I became less judgmental and much more encouraging. I could help quilters choose fabrics based on their favorite colors and their style. Other peoples quilts are not about me.
And so, my words changed. My world changed.
The person who filmed and edited that video, well, whether or not I think she should change or apologize is irrelevant. I’m doing the thing that is necessary and walking away from the conversation and going back to quilting. In fact yesterday I rearranged my sewing studio to make it much more functional for me.
As a quilter and teacher I am going to do my very best to encourage each quilter to take their own path and be more of who they are meant to be, a well-loved child of God who quilts.