While in Edinburgh I went to the Royal Botanic Gardens one morning, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and took pictures. As I was leaving and waiting for the bus, I struck up a conversation with Jill. I asked to take a picture of her and she readily obliged.
After the photo I said that I loved her red hair, that both my girls have red in their hair and I love it. She seemed surprised at my comment and said Thank you. Then after a pause she added, "I don't know why people have to say ugly, mean things to people. There's no cause for it, and it hurts." It took me a moment to figure out what Jill was talking about - taunting she'd gotten for her red hair, perhaps as a young girl.
Somewhat stunned by her disclosure, I said something lame like, "I agree with you." Then the bus arrived and I had to quickly say goodby. I rode away wondering about the wounds people carry around, wounds of the heart from both tauntings and careless comments.
As a boy I learned the well-known ditty, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." But we know words do hurt. And mean words striking a tender heart leave lasting pain. May God forgive me for the mean words I've thoughlessly hurled at others. And may I learn to speak words that heal. Bless you, Jill, and all the wonderful "gingers."