The Night My Daughter Turned Black and Blue

Her limp body flopped over a table, strew with items hastily pushed aside to make way for the injured. I could see her precious cheeks, swollen with what must have been repeated blows. Her eyes were matted shut. Her tiny frame was black and blue, skin broken and oozing blood Breathing labored. She stirred, barely parting her signature long lashes to get a glimpse of me. “Mama,” she whimpered.

I shot up, my pulse racing quicker than my thoughts. A dream. It was just a dream. This horrendous nightmare was just that–a nightmare.  As mothers do, I crept into her room to make sure my little girl was safe. And she was. Not black and blue as I had dreamed, but skin rosy pink as usual. A sweet smile playing across her dimpled cheeks.

As you can imagine, I didn’t forget the hellish image quickly.

I held Carson tighter that day.

And not for the reason you think.

My daughter has never been physically beaten black-and-blue, but I have often beaten her to a bloody pulp with my words.

The angry words I send flying in the heat of the moment.

The careless, frustrated words I throw in her direction.

Lest you think I’m being too extreme, remember that Christ equates anger to murder. Remember James calls the tongue a fire, and a restless evil.

Don’t you see, friends? Our angry words are deadly.

“Carson! You’re making me crazy!” Swollen cheeks.

“Why can’t you just stop that?” Black eyes.

“Take a nap. NOW.” Bloody nose.

I’ll not forget the image of my broken daughter easily. Not because I want to dwell on visions of pain and heartache. But because I pray the Lord will use my nightmare as a reminder of the harm my words are capable of bringing to her soul. I pray that my angry words will become kind ones. I pray that I will bring blessing, and not cursing.

Words wound.

The WORD heals.

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