In her most recent post, She’s Not There, Lori wrote about the tendency that women have to compare themselves to each other and just how catty we can get about it.

It reminded me of one of the scout mom’s I used to work with.  She spent a great deal of time comparing other children to her son.  Needless to say the other child always came out on the short end and she’d point it out. One day she drove the another scout mom to distraction

“Can you believe what she just said?” Um, no. I hadn’t been listening.

“Was she talking about you?”

“No!  But it was just rude.”

“Did she say God Bless him at the end?”

“Yes!”

“Oh, then it doesn’t count.  It’s a southern get-out-of-jail free card. You can say something like ‘that boy’s dumb as a box of rocks, God Bless him.’ And it’s totally okay, as long as you say God Bless Him. But it only applies to rudeness. You still can’t wear white dress shoes before Memorial Day or back over the neighbor’s mailbox.”

I’m not sure the Midwestern mom ever believed me, but I’d grown up hearing my grandmother and her sister’s use this particular phrase. No, it didn’t really excuse the rude things that were being said, but somehow everyone acted like it did.

How much better to bless those around us and truly mean it?

I conducted a little experiment during Lent. Instead of giving something up, I prayed for my enemies. Admittedly, I don’t have real enemies but you know what I mean.  I prayed for the people who annoy me.

Guess what?  As the weeks wore on, my attitude towards these people changed.  I no longer had that tense feeling when I saw one of them.  In fact, I wasn’t 100% certain why some of them had ever annoyed me.

It seems that asking God to Bless them had unexpected consequences.  The next time I’m tempted to say something cutting about someone, God Bless ‘em, I hope that I remember to really and truly bless them instead.

–SueBE

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