Spoken Moments

I’m currently reading a little book called Spoken Moments. Compiled and edited by popular Christian romance novelist and writing conference director extraordinaire Yvonne Leyman, it contains fifty-two inspirational stories about the power of words. Spoken Moments is just one in an ongoing series of Moments books. I have a story in the newest one, Stupid Moments, in which I tell about my wife and me being assigned to what turned out to be Yvonne’s suite at one conference.

I still jokingly address Yvonne as “Roomy.”

As I read Spoken Moments, I keep thinking about how I wish I’d submitted a story to that collection. But since I didn’t, I’ll share it here.

I wasn’t a very happy teen. I didn’t have that many friends in high school, although I probably had a fair number of acquaintances.

I started learning to play guitar during the early-to-mid sixties, when the so-called “folk fad” was getting popular. (I still enjoy listening to the Kingston Trio, the Brothers Four, and the Chad Mitchell Trio, among others, even though their music wasn’t “real folk.”) When I discovered that two of the fellows in my Sunday School class wanted to form a group and were interested in my playing, I started feeling better about myself.

We enjoyed some local success. I couldn’t tell you how many free meals we earned, although we probably never received any actual pay.

I really liked my two fellow-musicians. I still do.

But one of them looked at my profile one day and very innocently–and I’m sure non-maliciously– called me “Roger the Rat.” I can’t prove that he wrote it in my high school yearbook, but I think he did.

I checked out my profile using two mirrors. Oh, great! He was right! Not only did I have a weak chin, I also had an overly large and pointy nose. Very rodent-looking. His assessment was spot on.

I tried to laugh it off, but the memory of that has stuck with me through the years. I’ve had a beard or goatee ever since 1976–maybe sooner than that–and the main reason was to make me look like I had more of a chin. Not much I could do about the nose, though. It wasn’t worth the pain and cost of surgery, and even if nose hair grew on the outside, it would’ve made my nose look bigger, not smaller.

No longer do my friend’s words bother me. At seventy, I’m too well adjusted to continue to worry about my looks or to fret about what someone once said. Someone who would probably be horrified to be reminded of what he’d said and to learn I still remember it. I sincerely hope he doesn’t read this blog post. I wouldn’t want to hurt him the way he temporarily hurt me.

That’s it. That’s the “spoken moment” I would’ve submitted to Yvonne’s book if I’d thought about it then. Maybe the fact that I didn’t is a sign of the healing that’s taken place over the years.

What about you? Has anyone ever said something you’ve forgiven but not forgotten? Would you share something about it in a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

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