I love looking at people’s vanity license plates and trying to figure out what they are or what they meant to say. Saw one this week that was JWR RN, and I’m guessing that was the nurse’s initials, proudly announcing the fact she had achieved the level of registered nurse. Good for her! My vanity plate is WRD4WRD, which, of course, stands for the court reporter taking everything down word for word. That was the name of my first court reporting firm, but it wasn’t the best choice as we were last in the phone book! I’ve had people stop me and say, “Are you a preacher?” I’d say, “No, why do you ask?” They’d say, “Well, we were standing here trying to figure out your license plate. I had to laugh – I’d sure never thought of that connection.
Been teaching the teens a lot about our tongue and our words, and it just seems to keep going and going. First we started with lying – and can you be a Christian and be a liar? Resounding answer by all: Absolutely not! I was thrilled to hear teenagers say that, as I would think that’s the time of your life when lying is so tempting. We’ve also been talking about cursing and slang and gossip and basically all the evil your tongue can lead you into. The past couple weeks, I have been shocked and burdened by the things I have seen and heard come out of people’s mouths, both in person and on the internet.
Tal and I went to the Miss WV Pageant a couple weeks ago, spent some good time together and got to see some of our friends and visit with new people, and while there, we became aware of how absolutely cruel people can be through Twitter and other social media. The show was streamed live on the internet, and there were horrible, mean and demeaning and degrading comments being tweeted by people watching. I don’t do Twitter, hardly even do Facebook but for these Saturday stories, so I had no idea. One of the mothers who was bawling, I mean, out and out bawling, showed me nasty tweets that had been said about Tal when she was acting as the emcee.
I have never been one of those moms whose kids could do no wrong, that reared up to fight if anyone corrected my child or said something about them. I was the mom that if the kids got in trouble at school or church or wherever, I added an additional punishment to them when they got home, rather than fight with whoever corrected them. I figured if someone had to go out of their way to deal with my child, they probably didn’t do it for no reason. So that said, I didn’t rise up to defend Tal, I just was filled with sadness that people would be so full of meanness that they would engage in publicly humiliating someone. I mean, what have we come to? Really. And what they said about her was mild compared to how they were blasting everyone else, but she still stayed up half the night upset by it.
As I thought over how hurt all these girls and parents were by this cruelty, it reminded me of this young man I had in my youth group several years ago. He had been humiliated in middle school by a game some teacher thought up to put notes on each student’s back while they sat in the front of the room (I’m hoping he thought the things said would be nice), but this child had NOTHING but horrible things put on his notes: “You’re stupid, no one likes you, why don’t you just go away, you’re ugly,” etc. It destroyed him, truly destroyed him. He really was never the same after that – I think it stripped him of all his confidence, and he went on to struggle for years, and is still struggling now as an adult. What a thing to do to a kid when they’re in the worst time of their life, middle school?
I don’t know if this has raised my radar to look for meanness, but it seems that now I am watching for it, I’m just surrounded by it. Have you noticed? Yesterday at the parade, I arrived to hang with my family at our usual spot, and I accidently stepped in front of this older gentleman who was sitting next to us in a lawn chair. The moment my leg blocked his view, he hollers, “EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!” I looked up at my family, and before I caught myself, I said, “Is this that same mean guy that we had to put up with last year?” They nod their heads and say, “Oh, you should have been here earlier! He not only yelled at everyone, he took candy out of the hands of a three-year-old!” Are you kidding me? It just made me think, “They’re everywhere! What are we doing? Why can we not just be nice?” Last time I checked, parades were about children….
It makes me mad, yes, but it makes me more sad, just sad. All these people running around, miserable and mean and bitter when there is a solution for those feelings that is free! And it only takes seconds to obtain! Tom and I had several discussions in the past few weeks about several incidents and sad things we had witnessed, and it was funny, right in the middle of one of these conversations, he says, “They just need a good dose of Jesus!” I laughed, because it’s not really how he talks normally, but it was so true! When I laughed, he said, “I’m not kidding! Jesus takes away all that hate and grudge-holding and bitterness!” I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.
Let us be reminded, the things that spew out of our mouth come out of the heart, as the Bible clearly tells us. And if you find yourself constantly feeling mean or bitter or hateful, I know the solution, and I would love to introduce you to Him!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.