There was once a traveler who, after coming upon a certain stretch of a busy highway, saw a group of people on the side of the road, talking fervently and pointing at a figure lying on the ground. As the traveler drew closer, he realized that the figure was a woman. She was injured, covered in cuts, bruises, and old scars from head to toe, and was too feeble to stand or sit up straight.
None of the people that had gathered around were helping the woman in any way. Instead, they all stood around conversing among themselves about the possible reasons she was badly afflicted:
“She just suddenly fell over when someone asked her about her scars.”
“She must of done something absolutely horrible to have ended up like this.”
“What a disfigured woman!”
“That woman brought it upon herself!”
The man was disgusted at the gossip that was going on around him and said angrily, “Have not one of you tried to help the woman? You accuse her of wrongdoing without proof!” He then rushed to her side to tend to her. He was about to apply some poultice on her wounds when she said weakly, “No amount of ointments or salves can help me, for I have already tried everything, but nothing will heal my afflictions.”
The man, now distraught that he was unable to give her aid, asked, “Who has beaten you so? Please, tell me that you may have justice!” To which the woman replied, “It is not the fists of men that have maimed me, but the words of men that are full of hate and ill will towards me. I have been outcast from every town I have visited, because the scars clearly show the unkindness of man’s words.”
Upon hearing this, the man immediately knew what would treat her wounds. He stood in front of the onlooking crowd:
“This poor woman- that you gossip about, is this way because not one person has ever said a kind thing to her in her entire life! She may have never been physically abused, but one malicious word can be more hurtful than a slap on the face! Even if only one person said a loving remark to her, she would be healed.”
That said, he bent down beside the woman, looked into her eyes and said, “The Lord created you, and He loves you.”
Just with that statement, her open wounds disappeared and her year old scars started to fade away.
Proverbs 12: 18 & 25
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.