Revd Delia writes: the national debate this week has been about racism through the eyes of the individual receiving hurtful comments and the consequences of family relationships breaking down, with the mental strains that brings. We see how words can hurt and give long lasting scars, which makes rebuilding family relationships more difficult, and can lead to serious mental health concerns. We know that forgiveness and love is the way out, but just as it is easy to say that, it is not so easy to do. For it is those that we love the most who can hurt us the most, with unkind, and maybe unintended criticism, combined with actions which create a gulf between us.
Lent is a time for self examination in the light of Christ, so let us all consider how our words can cause harm, or give grace and love. St James warns us in his Epistle about the dangers of letting our tongues have full rein as he says “with it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” He urges us “let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger”.
The first task then is to LISTEN.