when words are like stink bugs

when words are like stink bugs

Even if stink bugs are readers, I still don't like them!
Even if stink bugs are readers, I still don’t like them!

Clearly I will take a picture of just about anything!

Have you seen any stink bugs lately?

In the Portland area, there is believed to be an outbreak of stink bugs.

Oh joy!

Our home has seen quite a few visitors recently.

I didn’t realize until earlier last week that they flew, making them even more wondrous 😉

I did a little research.

Stink bugs were accidentally introduced into the United States in 1998.

They didn’t officially become known as a pest until 2010-2011.

Stink bugs present no harm to humans (debatable in my mind) but cause tremendous damage to

crops and plants.

As I have begun compiling stories of spoken words for this collection of posts,

I observed that hurtful words and stink bugs have much in common.

An offhanded comment can fly in our direction and catch us off guard.

We might even try to duck to avoid the words from touching us.

Harsh words can accidentally tumble out of the mouths of others and

startle us.

Have you ever tried to shake a stink bug off of a surface?

It takes many attempts and sometimes a bit of force.

Words stick to us.

Stink bugs have  protective armor.

Ill-fitting words spoken can create a shield around hearts.

A fortress is constructed, long and wide enough to keep words from inflicting injury

but in the process, body chemistry changes.

Stink bugs are difficult to crush.

When those creepy crawlers are pressed firmly enough, they emit

an unpleasant aroma.

It’s easy to be crushed by words and cause the guarded heart to

transport bitterness and resentments through the bloodstream.

This week, someone made a comment to me in front of another person.

As much as I tried to deflect the words, they stuck to me.

I was surprised how quickly I placed my heart behind wrought iron.

Those stink bug words were a reminder of other similar words.

Old words pried from my mind and heart years ago, only to

discover I had botched the surgery and needed healing from a

physician with greater expertise.

Without His aid to remind me who I am, I can let those stink bug words become

the worst kind of pest damaging any potential harvest in my life.

So I am determined to do what Carl does whenever there is a stink bug

sighting in our home.

He remains calm, retrieves the necessary receptacle, captures the pesky

bug and releases it outdoors.

He doesn’t swat it or smash it like he might a spider, ant or fly.

He simply takes the bug and puts it where it is meant to reside,

far enough away to inflict no harm.

I want to remain calm when a word lands in my territory.

I want to take the word captive only long enough to  release it beyond my world.

I also want to make sure the words I speak embody welcome

and don’t cause others to sprint for  the nearest exit.

Just like stink bugs, harsh word  can be introduced into the air by accident.

Let’s make it our aim to keep our environment pest-free and drive

stink bug words into extinction.

4 thoughts on “when words are like stink bugs

  1. This is beautiful, Helen, and so true. A coworker made a careless comment in a meeting recently about a project I was working on and even though I knew he didn’t mean to hurt me, I kept thinking about it all day. After a conversation with him to resolve it, I realized how much time I had invested in trying to unstick those words from me and get back to doing what God has put me there to do. Yeesh. I am a slow learner.


  2. Ah Bo,
    Blessed to see your name over here!
    Believe me, I am in the slow lane as well.
    Praying that only hopeful and words of blessings land your way today.


  3. What a fitting comparison! Thanks, Helen, for the reminder to be careful with my words. It must be something God wants me to work on because I read this verse immediately after reading your blog: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29).


  4. Thanks for the reminder of that verse! It’s a good one to keep on speed dial.
    I appreciate your visit to the blog!


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