Monday, September 28, 2009

The Charm Cabinet

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

While we were on our Texas trip a few weeks ago, I was able to spend some precious time with my grandmother, we call her Nan. I adore my grandmother and find that I take after her in so many things. My visit reminded me of a story she shared with me a few years ago that changed my life. I wanted to share.

At the time this took place, my grandmother was very unhappy with the house they were living in. She was constantly griping and complaining about how small this and that was, not enough room to do what I need to do, etc. On her way out of the house to run errands one day she made it a point yet again to share her unhappiness with my grandfather. Well, with a smirk on his face he decided to call a realtor the minute she left and put the house up for sale. A few hours later she pulled in the driveway with a “For Sale” sign and a big SOLD above it staring her in the face! She walked in the house with a look of shock. You can imagine the following conversation. My grandfather has a priceless sense of humor, and thought it would be a great joke...much to his surprise when the house sold in a few hours! They didn't have any place to go, and would have to rent something until they did...with 4 kids in tow. The next week my grandfather and their oldest son were moving furniture out of the house onto a truck and one of the pieces of furniture was my Nan's charm cabinet that she adored. Well, an accident occurred and the charm cabinet fell off the truck and was in pieces on the ground. She heard the commotion and ran outside. When she saw what happened she tore into my grandfather up one side and down the other, “how could you be so stupid...this is all your stupid...”. My grandfather and uncle got a blanket and gently gathered all of the pieces and took the cabinet to a carpenter to be repaired. A few hours later my uncle came inside, and told my Nan that my grandfather was outside crying while weeding the flower beds. My Nan said she just had a sinking feeling, utter devastation. She said at that moment, she had never felt more low or such disgust due to the pain she had caused my grandfather...and all because of words that came from her mouth.

When the charm cabinet was returned a few weeks later, it had been perfectly pieced back together. However, there was one spot hidden, that only my Nan noticed, that was slightly rough to the touch. She said that over time the wound she had created with her words had healed, but she could never shake the memory of that day. Anytime she was angry or was about to speak words in anger or haste, she would take a minute, walk to the charm cabinet and rub the rough area as a reminder of the pain she caused and how terrible she felt. She had rubbed that spot so much over the years that it is almost completely smooth today.

She shared this story with me a few years ago after I had an argument with Wes (I couldn't remember what it was about to save my life), but it touched me so much because in my lifetime I've never heard my Nan speak an unkind word. She is the picture of love. It changed my life. I realized that she changed her ways as an outcome of her experience. I could either continue to leave a path of destruction with my words or learn from her mistake. Don't get me wrong, I still constantly struggle with needing to watch my tongue...and usually just with those I love and hold dear, like my husband. I am so guilty of it lately, as I find myself so exasperated with my daily life that I lash out without thinking twice....and then I remember this story.

Do you ever wish you could take back something you said the minute you said it? How do you want to be remembered??


  1. That's a great story and a great reminder! (Don't let Scott read this post - ha! He'll be sure to tell you I've said a ton of mean things!)
    Sounds like you had/have wonderful grandparents!

  2. Thanks for sharing Nan's was exactly what I needed to hear! Blessings, Donna

  3. Wow!! What a great life lesson. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Okay, okay, I am guilty of saying some unkind things to Aron lately, I will now try to hold my tounge. Thank you for the story Amy, it was what I needed to hear. See ya soon!

  5. such a great story, thanks for sharing!