If you have been a reader for a while, you probably know I love old television programs. As I watched Family Matters the other day, I was intrigued by a conversation between Steve and Laura.
If you’ve never watched it, Family Matters aired from 1989-1998. It revolved around the Winslow family, a pretty normal family: father Carl a policeman, mother Harriette worked, Edward/Eddie the firstborn, Laura the second-born, and Judy came in as #3 (until she was written out later in the series with no explanation).
Carl’s mother lived with them (until she remarried later in the series) and Harriette’s sister Rachel and her young son lived with them as well. An orphan was adopted into the family later in the series named 3J.
Only one drawback to this scenario: their neighbor, Stephen Q. Urkel. A genius who created strange inventions and a klutz with a propensity for wrecking things. And he drove the Winslows cuckoo. Oh, and one other thing: Steve was totally infatuated with Laura.
In the episode with the conversation, Laura was a freshman in high school and just joined the cheerleader team. However, the team thumbed their noses at her, treating her like old gum on the soles of their shoes.
Laura was very hurt and Steve wanted to know what was bothering her. As Laura talked with Steve, she tried to ask him how he handled being constantly treated so spitefully, but she had a hard time getting the words out.
The conversation went like this:
Steve: “They treat you the way people treat me?”
Laura: “Yeah. How do you stand it, Steve?”
Steve: “Well, I just don’t let it bother me.”
Laura: “Well, you mean like laughing on the outside while crying on the inside?”
Steve: “No way! Why, if you cry on the inside, sooner or later, your insides mildew!”
Laura: “Then, how do you hide the hurt?”
Steve: “You don’t! Why, I’ve learned that if you fill your heart with hope, there won’t be any room for hurt!”
See why it caught my attention?
Do we allow hurt to swallow up our hope? So much hurt in the world these days. Even in the family of God. Some delight in shooting poisonous arrows at other family members. The saying is true: hurt people hurt people.
Have you been hurt by another’s word-poison? Maybe by a relative or friend? Or maybe even by a spouse?
Words carry power: power to hurt or power to bless!
Words evoke emotions with tears or rage.
Words hide us in their sheltered places.
Or chariot us to heaven’s throne…
Words doled out as a balm
offer soothing encouragement
to the one receiving them.
Words wielded as a weapon
injure the human heart,
wounding deeper than a surgeon’s scalpel.
As a balm or a weapon,
both cling and linger
in that secret heart place…
“For out of the abundance
of the heart
the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34b NKJV)
Speaks like a river of living matter,
stagnate with words that afflict,
words that sting and breed contempt.
Another river surges,
brimming with words that heal,
gushing with words that give life. (The Power of Words)
Which river flows from the abundance of your heart?
I pray the river of HOPE overflows your full heart to bless another. As the name of the show says…family matters! So let there be no room for hurt or for hurting others. Hope on!