I know you thought your words were cute.
I know you meant for your comments on my social media posts to be funny.
I know you are just kidding.
I know your answer is meant to be silly.
I know it is meant in jest.
I know you are trying to be humorous and make people laugh.
I know your sarcastic comments on social media are meant to be lighthearted and fun.
But what you don’t know is that every time you say things like that – when you answer with biting sarcasm – I wonder if you meant what you typed.
I wonder if your words are covering for how you really feel.
I wonder if that’s really how you see me.
I wonder what things I’ve said or done to offend you.
I wonder when I said or did something to anger you.
I wonder what I said or did to make you detest me.
I wonder why you don’t respect me and want to hurt me with your words.
I wonder if others feel the same way you do.
I wonder how many others think I’m a horrible person.
I wonder if they are glad that you got me good that time.
I wonder if they laugh at my shame and embarrassment.
I wonder if they rejoice as you do at my public humiliation.
I wonder if they, too, think badly of me.
And I carefully read every comment trying to decipher their true meaning.
I avoid you in public.
I avoid anyone who might feel as you do.
I don’t go to social functions where I might, yet again, offend someone as I clearly have offended you in the past.
If I could only figure out what I said or did to make you hate me…
If I could figure out what I’ve done to cause such destain…
If only I were not such a worthless person, unwelcome in our community…
If only your words had been different.
Brothers and sisters, our words matter. Speak with kindness. Speak truth. Speak with love. Speak with grace.