by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
When we stick out our tongues at someone who has angered us,
it is a sign that what we really feel is frustration or defiance or disgust.
When we have that exact reaction in a pleasant context, it is a demonstration that what we really feel is consolation or irony or just playful.
What matters most is what we intend to express. What is in the heart.
The tongue is a big red flag (pun intended) that we wag when we want to express something cutting or hurtful.
Then again, it is a soft and comforting tool when we want to speak soothingly to someone in pain or console someone’s exasperation.
Why the tongue so powerful?
This explanation will be shorter
than a Top 40 song from 1960s.
One day Jesus took a boat ride to Gennesaret.
It’s a green, green shoreline on the west bank of the Galilee Sea.
A small group of hill people there saw his boat.
They ran down to meet him.
So, he preached a short sermon.
He said that what we put into our mouths will not cause condemnation,
but what comes out of our mouths is the source of our blame.
They promptly responded, “Whaaaaat?”
Jesus said, “Think about this.
When the mouth is open,
whatever passes the lips goes into the mouth and into the stomach.
Then that comes out of the body? Okay?
that also when the mouth is open
there are things that come OUT of the mouth.
“We know that these are words.
They are formed by the tongue
and they begin in a person’s heart.
What people really feel
they first feel in their hearts.
“So, the heart’s intentions are revealed by spoken words from the tongue.”
Then, Jesus dropped the mic.
After the applause, He gathered friends and family
and walked over to Tyre near Sidon.
All of a sudden a woman from Canaan runs up from the main highway.
She hollers at Jesus, “Son of David! Lord! My daughter is sick.
Have mercy on me!”
The disciples did not want a woman from Canaan at their luncheon.
Jesus stared down his buddies.
They stared back.
“Send her home, Lord,” they insisted.
Jesus said, “Send her home? I came here to help Israel’s lost ones.”
Then suddenly the Canaan woman pushed her way in front
and knelt at Jesus’ feet, crying, “Please. Help me, Lord! ”
Jesus said, “I have life-giving power for the ones who need it most.
Why would I throw this power away?”
The woman said, “Even we who have no needs
merit favor because we are loyal to the head of the house.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith!
Your request is granted.”
And her daughter was healed at that very moment.
Minutes later, Jesus took himself on a long walk along the beach.
There was only one set of footprints, of course.
Moral of the Holy Scripture story in Matthew Chapter 15
The Canaanite woman did not think to herself: ‘I believe in G_d. I give to my church.
It is not fair that my daughter gets sick.”
She squealed her request for help.
She appealed to the source.
She revealed what was in her heart.
She said: ‘Lord’ and ‘Have mercy on me!” and ‘I am loyal to the Head of the House.”
Essentially, this is the same as saying ‘I believe in YOU.’
Jesus always praises the people he helps by acknowledging their faith.
When we say aloud that our G_d can do all things,
we reveal what is in our hearts by spoken words from the tongue.
You may be the ONLY CHRISTIAN somebody sees today.
Say something comforting.
Do something positive.
Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.