A pretty typical morning led to an extraordinary moment. We gathered for family time. The baby was down for an early nap. Each child grabbed a spot and waited for the reading from James.
Little Bug, on the other hand, was intent on staking his claim on one that was already occupied. He rolled. He bit. He nudged. Whatever it took, he was there to stay.
Tensions rose. I began to speak through clinched teeth and finally abruptly popped up, nursing babe and all, to remove the culprit from the room.
But, the damage was already done. The mood had turned ugly. Words became weapons, and I, myself, was on the brink of spewing technicolored arrows all over the room.
I closed my eyes and silently begged, "Lord, help me to hold my tongue," then started over, "Lord, you are gonna have to hold my tongue."
And with great gentleness, as always, He replied, "The way I'll hold your tongue is for you to put my Word on the tip." And my heart melted.
We broke open the Bread together, and the book of James held three little verses, right where we left off a few days before:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Which. Can. Save. You. Those four words took hold of my tongue and left me speechless.
No will power or deep breaths or counting to ten or even pleas for help to get ourselves out of our mess will anchor the tongue and save our souls from slamming hard against another. Holding His Word on the tip of the tongue secures it to a weight sure enough to hold.