Redeeming the Tongue

Our dear Father,

We are a people of scathing tongues.

We bite, we devour,

and we hate our brother.

Too quick, we are, to sputter from our lips

without care or caution

endlessly destructive words.

What is more –

what is worse

is the way we carefully sweeten the poison on our lips.

Even our kindest words have hidden torment,

and they are our favorite kind.

What would You do with us, Holy Word of God?

Should you sew up our lips and let not another mutter escape?

Should You take our gift of intelligible voice and give it to another creature?

Should you cut out our tongues that they might not flash against Your holiness?

Is there any way –

is there any means of redemption for the beasts we cannot tame?

And yet –

in all solemn silence –

You hold out salvation, offered at the utterance of two little words,

“I believe.”

So write belief on our tongues.

Rework the bend and movement of our unbridled selves

until they do nothing but profess


And in Your startling way of redemptive power,

stop up our mouths.

And let us sit in silence at the world you make new.

Even us.





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