But…we don’t know!

“She’s out sick, we’ll see…” What do you mean?  She was sick on Friday, I know she doesn’t feel well.  “Yeah, but she went to the doctor after work.  They must have given her medicine and after being off two days she should be all better.”

But. . .  We don’t know why she is not here.  I hope she feels better and we see her soon.

Gossip, judging and sometimes – downright nastiness.    It can take a lot to not be sucked into the nonsense some days when we’re not as focused as we should be on being kind, helpful – and not judging.

I enjoy my job, it is challenging, super busy but I have learned having the door at the end of the far hallway can be at times a depressing spot.  Both a welcome reprieve with a visitor chair to sit and visit,  a quiet space away from the craziness of the front line office and the secretary desks – or it can be a place where some overworked folks hit their limit in frustration from demanding jobs with a non-stop pace and need to stop for a breather.

Of course – my job is a nonstop pace too.  It requires a lot of patience some days to sit and listen.  Assuming or guessing Jane/Joe Doe is out for an unscheduled day of r&r but even if they – what does it really matter?  How does it affect you?  S/he is either going unpaid (or) using up precious vacation days.  There is no financial reward with calling out of work.  Sometimes I want to say “would you feel better if they had a terminal illness?”.  :shrugs:

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Work ethics vary with each person.  I have a tendency to be focused on work and the clock can easily tick past my 4:30 quitting time and if I haven’t left to pick up my grandson to watch for the evening – it is common to find me close to 5:30 one of the last to leave.  I have learned though when I am sick – I am sick and I stay home and I try really hard not to feel guilty.  I feel the same way about severe weather and was sure to discuss this during my interview for my current job.  If anyone wants to gossip about me being out, I don’t really give it a thought.  I keep in contact with my employer and am honest.

 

There are other types of gossip or mean talk that happens, we’re all familiar in one way or another with this.  A lot of times it can be found within the “safe” walls of a family home.  I remember hearing my mother on the phone one night talking to one of her sisters, gossiping about a women they knew (who was 40) who found herself pregnant and my mother and her sister apparently thought an abortion was the only thing to “do”.  In fact, that is the conversation in which I heard my mother say she “would have aborted me” (her youngest) “if I could have”.  I was between eleven and twelve when I heard this.  You can imagine the varying thoughts hearing this gossip and how it may have affected my thoughts, feelings and choices in my life.

How about the gossip that sounds too false to be true and attacks the character of someone directly?  I have a friend met her eldest brother for the first time when we were in our late teens.  At a family gathering she walked into a room to hear one of the siblings she grew up with quietly telling her “new” brother that he heard she just had an abortion.  Pro-life, she never would have considered an abortion for herself and was not nor had never been pregnant.  The gossip was started by a cousin that none of them really knew – and her sibling chose to spread gossip without thought or care of the damage such untruths could cause.

Perhaps the worst type of gossip is when words are shared about someone who has long passed away and cannot defend themself . . .  What a horrible act – and what do they think they are accomplishing by doing this?  It is a vile act that’s damage is questionable.

What about when this gossip is spoken in front of little pitchers – with big ears?  Do they not talk too?  What lesson are they being taught?

My own thoughts on this are one is trying to draw attention to themselves for some perverse reason that I will never understand – but my faith in God tells me also that I do not have to understand.

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I have to love.  We are called to love.

Our words have power.  They can damage and kill or uplift and offer life.  Speak with love – in your words.  Grow closer to our Father and bring other closer too with positive conversations that offer growth, not the poison of gossip.

 

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