Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Struck Dumb

Ask my husband - I can "win" just about any argument by the shear speed of my words.  He can't keep up.  If I slowed down - he would win.  I used that a lot as a teenager.  A quick sharp tongue could lash the most undeserving and the deserving.  Using that on anyone at any time has escaped me as an adult.
 Maybe it was pregnancy that zapped my brain cells (although I was quite a bear during Cara's pregnancy). Maybe it is just having children around in general. Could be that my language has been watered down to "stinky" and "tushy"?  I don't even say "hate" unless I want to get a look from Cara (that's just one of my things, doesn't have to be yours).  I think there is another possibility. . . I am momentarily Struck Dumb.

Have you ever left a discussion and thought of one million comebacks that you could have said? Struck Dumb.  How about finding no fault in a new friend but then all of the sudden seeing what is really there? Struck Dumb.  Ever felt insulted but only in hindsight? Struck Dumb.
Being insatiably thirsty for information right now, I have set my sights on the Bible.  Focusing in on women in the Bible, I have devoured 3 books.  I hit a wall one day (well, end of the shelf) at the library in my search to continue learning.  Scanning the shelves (side note - there is no way they should allow a Shannon Doherty book that close to literature about my Savior!) for a book to satisfy my general need for knowledge popped out.  "100 Most Fascinating People in the Bible".  Feeling the need to fill in the gaps felt while reading my last book, I checked it out.  The book I read before this one made references to things that I did not remember.  Obviously the author was assuming that I knew the Bible front to back. I don't, yet.  So when you say things like "He was like Elijah" and leave it at that, I am lost. 
In Alphabetical order - this book is hard to follow. It is really more of a reference book.  The "J" section is incredibly long. From Jacob, to a bunch of Joseph's and John's of course you can't skip JESUS, I was working my way through them when I hit John the Baptist.
Elizabeth and Zechariah were "elderly"  and childless when the angel Gabriel told Zechariah that they would have a son. He would be named John (known as John the Baptist) and would, among other wonderful things, ready the people for the coming of Jesus.  (Luke 1:8-25).  In verse 18, Zechariah questions the angel in what must have been more like true disbelief than pure confusion based on what happens in the next 2 verses.  In verse 20 the angel says "And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” That is exactly what happened. He came out of the temple and could not speak.

Let's go back to my "100 People" book and the "J" section.

My book has different wording to describe what happened to Zechariah. On page 41 in the opening paragraph about John the Baptist it says ". . .his father doubted the angel's words and was STRUCK DUMB as a punishment".  This made me laugh.  The wording is hilarious to me, but very simple - "struck dumb".  I am sure there are more interpretations of the words used to describe his condition but this one seemed so true as an explanation for my inability to connect my brain and mouth when I feel they should be raging!

To clarify, no I don't think God is punishing me by striking me dumb.  I don't think there is any real relationship between my experience and Zechariah.  I believe mine is more like training.  God has used my choke collar a few good times and tightened so I could feel, over the years, Him leading me to hold back my speech. 

There is a relationship between the wording.  That is exactly how I feel after an incident that enrages me only after I have taken 4 steps away from it.  Had that person needed my "guidance" at the time, He would have released my dumb-ness.  Recently, there was no other explanation for my lack of wits and words except for being struck dumb.  My children were being insulted and corrected by someone that I had just met.  You can mess with me but you will not mess with my kids.   If you love my kids and have been in their lives for a long time, you can feel free.  But you do it out of love or the need for safety - not because you are spreading your "children should be little adults" rules all around and mine were in your path.  Seriously I felt like (without ever having really experienced one) I had a seizure.  I stuttered, my face froze, mouth wide open, I was in shock.  When I finally got my words back I decided it was time to make an exit.  I directed it at Cara and gave them the 5 minute warning to clean up. 

WHY GOD?!?!? Why didn't you let me lay into this person!?!?!? I know there is a good reason! I have not sought another attempt to put myself in that situation again.  I know that my brain is already way too full of sinful words and plans for me to control on my own.  Some days I think it would just feel really good to have my power of explosive words back! Don't you ever have really bad days and you think "the next person to even look at me wrong is going to get it".  Seemingly daring people with your eyes to even look at you the wrong way.  I felt this way at Target a few weeks ago.  No one even looked at me in that aisle.  No eye contact.  Wow, I thanked God for them, because they had no idea!  Now, I thank God for the work he has done in me (still a work in progress) that allows people to view HIS love through me.  It is genuine, cannot be faked, and not forced.

Following your next meeting, outing or family gathering that results in a tirade of killer words and thoughts only 5 minutes too late. . . grab your coffee, your stress ball, and consider yourself Struck Dumb.  Its' a good thing.


  1. How I have missed your blog posts, girl! And thanks for the reminder. :) Love you.

  2. I must have been struck dumb at birth... I wish I was better at come-backs! This is a great lesson, though. Thanks so much for sharing!!!