Soup on the Wall, Harsh Words in the Air, and Glory in a Brown Tunic

By on September 15, 2011

By Marcia Moston –

Surely there are instances when it is impossible to hold your tongue; I mean, after all, who could control herself when tomato-based vegetable soup is sliding down the still damp, beige paint of her hall wall?

I never gave self-control a thought as the harsh words flew out of my mouth and stabbed my already distraught daughter—at least not until I heard the still, quiet Voice telling me it was possible, because of Him, because of Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Since Northern days seldom require air conditioning, we hadn’t installed one in the house I was now repainting, but this day was hot. Sweat drops slid down my face as I scooted along on my knees, determined to finish the baseboards. For hours I had been painting ceiling, walls, and woodwork. Now I was almost finished and couldn’t wait to clean up and admire my handiwork.

Just at that moment, my teenage daughter appeared in the doorway, carrying a bowl of hot soup in her bare hands, with no plate or pot holder to buffer the heat. I looked up in time to see the bowl drop and soup splatter all over the walls I had just painted.

The “red” I was seeing wasn’t soup. Angry, harsh words flew out of my mouth, unstopped by my daughter’s obvious distress. She fled in tears; my husband stood torn between comforting his daughter and calming his wife. The dog ran off to the kitchen.

Since I seemed bent on justifying my fury, my husband slipped off to see how my daughter was doing. After my storm passed, I felt terrible.

She clearly hadn’t meant to spill, and even if she hadn’t thought to wrap the hot bowl in a towel, her misjudgment certainly didn’t warrant that tirade of abuse.

Now, as angry at myself as I had been at my daughter, I mopped soup and cried to the Lord. “It’s impossible to control myself sometimes. The words come out too fast. I’m a terrible Christian.”

I knew the verses, of course, that said I was “crucified with Christ,” and “dead to sin,” and that it was “no longer I that lived, but Christ that lived in me,” but my experience defied what my mind proclaimed. So often I had begged the Lord to open my eyes to not only the reality of His death, but of mine.

Then, quietly, in between sobs and soup, I heard a gentle correction: “It is possible. I have provided a way.” At that moment, I saw the God of the universe living among men, going about His daily tasks, without sin; facing the temptations and trials of life, same as I. Glory in a brown tunic.

And I understood He had provided a way for me to not sin. There was a space between the event and the outburst, a moment in which I could choose to listen to the Holy Spirit and not spew words of death.

I wasn’t a slave to uncontrolled outbursts. He had indeed, “granted to [me] everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called [me] by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

I swiped at the broth trickling down the wall. To my amazement, it came off clean, leaving no stained reminder of the mess that had been.
Bio: Marcia Moston, winner of the 2010 Women of Faith Writing Contest and Honorable Mention recipient of the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has been a columnist for the Greenville Journal and contributor to several magazines. Her book, Call of a Coward is to be released in the spring/summer of 2012 by Thomas Nelson. Marcia and her husband live in South Carolina. Visit her at  http://marciamoston.com/.

About mmoston

Marcia Moston, winner of the 2010 Women of Faith Writing Contest and Honorable Mention recipient of the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has been a columnist for the Greenville Journal and contributor to several magazines. Her book, Call of a Coward is to be released in the spring/summer of 2012 by Thomas Nelson. Marcia and her husband live in South Carolina. Visit her at http//:marciamoston.com.

2 Comments

  1. Marcia

    September 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    “a space between the event and the outburst” I love it. Simple to remember. Oh-oh, this might come with a test. Yikes. 😉 Do you notice that space getting wider through the years? Our God is so beautiful and patient.
    This is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.
    Much love,
    Marcia

    • Marcia Moston

      September 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Marcia,
      I DO notice the space getting wider, Hallelujah! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Soup on the Wall, Harsh Words in the Air, and Glory in a Brown Tunic