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A Slip of the Tongue—or Pen

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matt. 12: 34.

Have you ever made a Freudian slip, suddenly blurting out something that had been long-repressed? Have you said what was on your mind, and it was hurtful, or socially unacceptable? This happens to me occasionally. As I’m a writer, it usually occurs while I’m typing.

I did some clerical work in the financial aid department while in college. On one occasion I needed to write to the department of highways in an Ohio town. Someone there had requested some of our college brochures and catalogs. I was to package them and take them, with a cover letter, to the mail room.

As I typed the label, I was thinking about how sleepy I felt. My schedule—with husband, children, schoolwork, housekeeping, taking care of two sick relatives, and fitting in my free-lance writing—was a real juggling act. So it’s hardly surprising that my tiredness came to the forefront, and I addressed the label to the Highway Napping Department, instead of the Highway Mapping Department. My supervisor and I had a good chuckle as I typed another label.

Another such typo could have been much more serious had the letter gone out the way I typed it. I was a church secretary at the time. There was a woman I knew and disliked because many of her words and actions made people feel that she thought she knew more and was better than everyone else. So I privately gave Mrs. Beasley (not her real name) a new name. One day the pastor asked me to type a letter of appreciation to her for her musical contribution to the previous week’s church service. I dutifully wrote the letter and proofed it. Oops! My greeting read, “Dear Mrs. Beastly.”

The unkind thoughts I’d been having about her had surfaced! I asked God to forgive me for harboring such ill will. The woman, after all, did have some good qualities. Since the paper was erasable bond, I easily fixed my mistake.

The truth of today’s text really hit me. Do you too have similar problems at times? God has promised, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart…and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26). If we ask Him, He will give us more loving, compassionate hearts. I want a spiritual heart transplant, don’t you?

Bonnie Moyers

 

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