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a fly on the wall

November 5, 2009

The other day I accidentally overheard a conversation about me.  I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop; those participating in the conversation didn’t realize I had stopped just around the corner to take care of something before continuing on my way.  The actual words spoken weren’t mean, but an unmistakable annoyance could be heard in the tone with which they were said.

I was hurt and frustrated by what was said.  The parties involved had given me assurances that all was well in a particular situation, but come to find out all wasn’t well.  Questions raced through my head: Why didn’t they just tell me how they really felt?!  Is that what they really think of me?  Is that how they always talk about me or was this an isolated incident? Should I confront them? Should I reveal my presence?  And so on…

As hurt as I was, the situation made me think: How would someone react if they overheard me speaking of them?  Would my words and tone of voice cause joy or induce tears?   There are many times I speak of others in a less than honoring tone, and I realized how hurtful I can be to someone even if they aren’t present.

Spending a few moments as a fly on the wall truly opened my eyes.  I decided against confronting those involved in the conversation.  Who am I to cast the first stone?  I am sure there have been many times I have complained about them.  For all I know, I could be the biggest culprit! 

I know my bruised soul will heal in time and I will eventually be able to trust those involved in the conversation. Still, I pray I will never forget the pain caused by their words.  That memory will be a cherished one as it will serve as my greatest reminder to always speak graciously and loving of others.

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