there, i can spell it correctly.
i always have been able to.
but for some reason, i didn’t in the middle school spelling bee.
i remember that moment on stage. they called out the word. i spelled it out.
and they told me it was wrong.
i was in disbelief.
i still am.
i wish i would have dvr-ed the moment. that i could rewind and see where i went wrong,
but this was back in the day before camcorders. yes, my friends. there was such a time.
because i still don’t think i spelled it wrong.
but apparently, i did.
it’s not that one word would have kept me back from fame and fortune. i’m pretty sure i would have been eliminated in another round or two.
i was a good speller, but not spelling bee good.
but i knew that word.
i was perfectly capable of spelling it.
and that moment has haunted me for years.
it’s really stupid how something like that can still bother you.
but words are powerful.
and a mistake with a word lingers.
a word poorly spoken.
a phrase wrongly placed in a post.
a sentence twisted by a tone.
i have words that have haunted me for years.
words that i wish i would have said.
or words that i wish i wouldn’t have said.
or words that i wish i would have said differently.
if i’m perfectly honest, i don’t have a lot of grace when it comes to words. whether it’s for myself or for others, i tend to label people by the words they say.
i’m not the only one. the evening news, hate-filled rants on fb and blog post comments are often diatribes against the words someone said.
and some of the meanest, most vile venom spewing from people are from those of us who should most understand grace—followers of Christ.
we have shredded brothers and sisters in Christ in our passion for truth.
and we shred ourselves for the “should haves” and “wish i coulds.”
the Bible says that the tongue is a weapon that can cause great destruction. and that it holds great power to build others up, or tear them down.
sometimes that is directed at others, and sometimes it’s shouted inside our heads.
and usually it’s something that seemed like a really big deal at the time, mainly because there was some insecurity, fear, failure or other emotion that latched on to the moment like a parasite.
if i could go back and rewind that moment in middle school, i probably didn’t say the word incorrectly—even if in my head, it was correct.
and the reason is simple, i don’t always say what i mean in the best way possible. sometimes my words are not perfectly chosen or phrased. and that’s because i’m not perfect.
as much as i edit or rewrite professionally, life doesn’t provide that luxury.
there are some words that i can never take back.
there are some words that i will never get a second chance to say.
and the only thing that keeps me from wearing those regrets like a big anvil around my neck is the forgiveness and grace that Jesus Christ provides.
i know the power of words. i know the imperfection of words. and i know the grace that i need.
the least i can do is extend it to others and myself.
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