When Words Hurt

January 31, 2022

Kristi is on day 5 from surgery. Her incision is starting to itch and her pain is becoming intense as her bowels are waking up and she is processing normal food. She has improved greatly and I am excited to see her up and walking, spending time sitting up, talking, smiling, and managing her pain. She is still on strong IV antibiotics because of the cultures that are growing from the lab. They have tapered down her IV diet and will most likely remove the liquids today. Our biggest prayer request now is pain management. She has a 12-14 inch incision right up her middle abdomen. The surgeon cut through her muscles and removed a large mass from her abdomen. The “hole” left is being filled by her stomach and intestines, which is causing tremendous pain. Please pray that we will find the right balance in medicine and recovery so that we can go home to fully recover there.

The last couple of days, my mouth has gotten me into trouble a time or two. Many times I tend to speak before I think. My mind has a way of thinking out loud. As words come out, I sometimes say what I don’t want to say. Anyone else have that problem? No? Just me? Ok.

Solomon says this:

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”Proverbs 18:21

Solomon writes a bunch of short, directed, one-liners in the Book of Proverbs. Sometimes they make me laugh and other times like this one, they sting.

Here’s another good one:

“Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Proverbs 17:28

But one that really makes me think is this one:

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6

When do you open your mouth to say something and when do you remain silent? It’s a dance that doesn’t have mapped out steps. It can be beautiful or disastrous. As Kristi navigates her recovery and pain, I have been more disaster than beautiful – more hurtful than helpful.

While thinking out loud, I have caused her pain. While trying to help her navigate pain medicine, I have said the wrong thing. It’s really hard to know what is right and what is wrong in this situation. It’s hard to know when my words bring clarity or muddy the waters. It’s so frustrating!

But wait, Solomon says, “words from a sincere friend…” Aren’t I a sincere friend? Haven’t I proven my love and friendship over these past 4 weeks? When does a sincere friend have the right to say what he wants, even if the words hurt? I think the answer is, never

Here’s what I mean. Just because a sincere friend will speak the truth in love, sometimes empathy and compassion are more important. Sometimes silence is the appropriate response. Sometimes a soft, comforting touch is all that’s needed.

As we consider those around us, and we walk with them through pain and struggles, sometimes no words are the best words. We don’t have to say everything we think, even when we are probably right.

“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18

So my question for myself is, do I want to be cutting or healing? Obviously, healing is my choice. Kristi has already been cut, I don’t need to cut her spirit or emotions on top of her pain. She has already overcome incredible obstacles, I don’t want to add to her battles.

The next question is how do I default to wisdom instead of insensitivity? How do I give words of comfort instead of words of pain? Guess who owns wisdom? Guess who gives it out freely to those who ask? Yep, God. So today, I am going to ask God for wisdom. I’ll ask Him for a supernatural clamp over my mouth. I’ll ask him for words of healing. And, I’ll ask him for compassion.

Ray Rhoton




13 thoughts on “When Words Hurt

  1. Praying the medical team have wisdom and get the proper balance for Kristi. Asking God to help her and to heal her 100%.
    As for you my friend, you are an amazing husband and I cannot imagine a better person to be in the fox hole with Kristi than YOU. I prayed for you earlier this morning that God would help you be a great encourager to Kristi. I read this morning that we but need to ask for wisdoms and God will give it to us in abundance. So I will join you in that prayer. We love you guys!


  2. I can relate to everything you said. I too have a mouth that gets me into trouble. However, you have proven your love and friendship to Kristi for well over the last 4 weeks. You are both in the storm of storms. Hang in there you are both doing much better than you think. Grace and peace.


  3. Praying that Kristi pain goes away and she will be able to go home. Praying for the whole family. ❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️


  4. Praying for beneficial pain management and comfort. I too have a problem with choosing my words or just keeping quiet. Thanks for the scriptures.


  5. Thanks for sharing and reminding us our words can hurt even when we think we are encouraging! I too carry that long stomach scar from 2 surgeries. One was emergency appendectomy and another from a c-section. Course I used a pillow for support but as soon as I could I began to use a light weight panty girdle. Just light weight stretchy that kinda holds you inters together. In fact I still wear them as I love the support. Just a thought. Prayers for Kristi, you and family. She is a miracle !!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are only human. Therefore we have our Lords book to guidance us. He knows our struggles. So he gives us sweet HIS sweet words. I feel we are meant to have bloopers. Because bloopers makes us realize we need HIS guidance not our own. Hang in there!
    PS Give Kristi a big hug for me. Prayers are constant for you both .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prayers for comfort & healing in this most difficult time. We are human & because of that God knows our hearts & we are given grace. Ray I know you are both hurting & exhausted but your words of wisdom & scripture every day has blessed many. God bless you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Praying hard for pain control for Kristi it is monumental. Praying the antibiotics do their job and she gets off those nasty but ever so important things soon. Mouth, you know my mouth🤯🤯🤯 I’ll guarantee you no matter what you say she doesn’t want you anywhere but at her side. Grace, God’s Grace😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ray, You are only human! I ask God for a zipper, with a lock on it, for my mouth! Sometimes we just need to show up, and hush up! God’s got this! A loving touch goes a long way and silence is golden! Continued prayers from Boerne, Texas, for Kristi and your journey! God bless y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks son for your transparency, but most of all, thank you for being a loving husband and an example of a Christ follower!


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