The Impalement

November 17, 2017
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Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (NIV)

My wire-haired dachshund, Hoss, just didn't seem himself after our daily hike through the bush. He seemed to be favouring his right shoulder and was moving a little more slowly than usual. Finally putting aside what I was doing, I stooped down to examine him. I was shocked to discover a one-inch circular hole in the right side of his chest. He had obviously been impaled by a sharp stick or branch which had ripped into him and then travelled for at least another inch between the skin and muscle wall. Due to the fact that there was next to no bleeding and he had not yelped or cried out in pain when it happened, I was not instantly aware of the injury.

Fortunately, however, I did discover it when I did, and I was able to call my paramedic neighbour who arrived quickly and helped me to shave, clean, and disinfect the wound while we waited for another local resident to arrive with his first aid kit to stitch it up. If the wound had not been discovered and dealt with as quickly as it was, massive infection and severe pain would have resulted within a day or two, or even within a matter of hours.

Impalement is dangerous and very hurtful. Sticks and branches in the bush are not the only things which can cause this type of injury to both man and beast. Sharp, unkind, and thoughtless words can also be the culprit, stabbing us unexpectedly, quickly, and deeply, leaving wounds which, left unnoticed and untended, can fester and grow in a painful and debilitating way.

The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me", is definitely not true. I think that we have all learned this over the years. Inappropriate words and names do hurt. When they do, it is most important to recognize the damage that they have done and to deal with it quickly by sharing such pain, either with the Lord or a close friend, and by praying for emotional and mental cleansing and healing.

Another thing which is also — and I would suggest even more — important, is to take time to consider our words before speaking them. By so doing, we make and can take the opportunity to choose carefully between those which build up and bless, and those which rip down and harm, for "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones". Who among us does not want to be such a blessing to others?

Prayer: Father God, help us not to impale anyone today with sharp, unkind, or thoughtless words. Strengthen and remind us to choose pleasant words — words which are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones — the same kind of words that You always use when speaking to us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Lynne.

    So true. Thank you for the reminder.

    Excellent devotional Lynne – and to the point with great info to act on.

    Good analogy to help remind us of how our thoughtless words can hurt another.

    How is Hoss? You make wonderful analogies. Bless you for your writings and gift to others.

    Thanks for the healing words!

    Lynne – How true. Thinking ahead can be learned; and with the help of the H.S. can be powerful.
    Thanks for the good word.

    Excellent devotional Lynne. Funny, I was just thinking of that old saying this week and agree that it’s definitely untrue. We really need to think before we speak.

    Thanks Lynne for sharing your experience with us and the results. May God bless your wee dog. They’re such good companions. Praying your pooch is fully recovered. Blessings.

    Hi Lynne, Another good one! Thanks so much for sharing.
    I like hearing about your animals, pets, the bush, the corral etc.
    God bless.

    Thanks Lynne.
    What a good reminder!
    May the Lord keep blessing you and may you continue to share those blessings with us.

    Hi Lynne
    How is little Hoss doing? Poor wee sweetie.
    Wise words from a very wise lady. Thank you.

    GREAT sharing/analogy.
    I’m sure HOSS is on the mend.

    Do I ever need this today.
    Busy Dec issue and hyper customers, I have often asked the Lord for patience and wisdom and got it.
    And I am sure He also directed you to check on your dog as well!
    Blessings and thank you.

    Greetings Lynne,
    Thanks kindly for this morning’s devotional. So very true how stinging & hurtful unthought words can be. The tongue truly is a very sharp sword when unkind words are spoken but how sweet the balm when we hear pleasant, soothing words. May the Lord guide our thoughts and utterances.
    Blessings to you,

    Good morning Lynne! The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me”, is definitely not true. The saying is true! One can’t control what sticks and stones can do to the body but one can definitely control what the mind hears and understands. Why let what another person’s opinion or speech control you! I told my children and I am telling my great-grandchildren you are controlled by the Spirit of God not by what people say. It only hurts if you let it. You with God are in control.
    Good morning again Lynne! I Thank God and you, Lynne for your inspiration and dedication to PresbyCan. You and the rest of the writers provide me with all the devotions that help me through the day.
    Thank you!

    Another of your heart warming, thought-provoking devotionals has blessed and challenged my thinking today. Thank you Lynne. God has gifted you with the talent of an amazing writer, and is using it to bless your readers as you glorify Him.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for your devotional.
    I am amazed that “away up north” you have the fine neighbors you have within the call of “Help”.
    I hope your doggie has healed well.
    Thank you for the blessing prayer to which I say, AMEN!

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