She was blissfully unaware. The seeds lingered for months, years, even decades …
Yenta could hear the buzzing around her ear. She was tired, too tired to swat it away. At first it frightened her, but she quickly adapted to the low hum. Eventually, Yenta didn’t think much about the underlying noise, though from time to time she could feel it aggravatingly assume space in her head.
She had no idea it would grow so quickly. She first noticed it one night when she rolled over in bed. It was somewhat uncomfortable. A growth protruded from her head.
Yenta was such a sweet person. Her curiosity was often interpreted as concerned questions. She noticed a direct connection between her speech and its growth. She didn’t know what to call it. It didn’t need a name. She loved it. The growth was clearly visible to her and a few others. For the first time, she could see the beautiful, colorful blossoms growing out of her head.
Few others noticed, but that mattered little. She was elated the blossoms gave off the small seeds that floated through the air, into her ears, and into the ears of others. However, that only happened when she shook her head as she talked.
She became intoxicated with it, yet no one warned her. A few busybodies tried to tell her, but they were just jealous. She secretly gloated when others gathered around her when the seeds were blooming. No doubt they enjoyed the sensation of having their ears tickled by the tiny seeds. It was a crazy combination of pleasure and pain. It didn’t take long until most of her friends had beautiful blossoms that seemed to cross- pollinate.
Yenta noticed the roots were impacting her thinking. At first, she ignored the roots. Her mind was strong enough to push the roots to the side. But now they were growing stronger, larger and deeper. Before long, she quit struggling with them and simply allowed them to invade like weeds. Besides, they were true. The roots. The beautiful blossoms. The intriguing seeds. They were all a thing of beauty. She loved them. She protected them.
Her head actually weighed a lot more now. Once she tried to look up at the sky and fell over. She managed to hold her head up for a few minutes to see others, but that became increasingly exhausting. She adjusted well. While she did miss seeing the beauty of God’s creation, the trade-off was worth it. Now her addiction had full control of her.
Yenta loved her family fiercely, perhaps to a fault. Maybe it was the roots that lied to her. Maybe she wanted to believe she wouldn’t, couldn’t infect her family. She was conflicted because she wanted them to share in the beauty of the experience and at the same time she was hesitant. She couldn’t understand her nervousness. Maybe it was the cautious remarks from a few family members. The same ones who told her she needed to have the growth removed—even if it meant going to a professional—found themselves tempted by the seeds’ magnetism. Before long, the huge growth appeared on all her family members. A few were temporarily shocked at the sight but quickly dismissed any trepidation because the feelings of participation were too glorious.
One day, Truth confronted Yenta. The seeds were lies, mere half-truths, and insinuations. They were dangerous! Filled with division and conceit. Her mind had been compromised. She could not think straight and her vision was greatly hindered. All she could see was herself! She was engulfed, yet there was hope. Truth told her she must make a clean break. She could not keep a few roots and be healthy. She had to be willing to allow Truth to cut them out. Truth told Yenta that she had infected her entire family, not to mention countless others.
Yenta was filled with horror. The roots tightened up around her brain as Truth spoke. She was suffocating. She didn’t believe Truth. She couldn’t. Pride told her that if she believed Truth she would be admitting that she didn’t really love her family. NO! She turned away from Truth and lived the rest of her life seeing only herself and infecting others. Yenta existed until she died, but she left behind a legacy through the seeds she had sown – seeds of paranoia, jealousy, gossip, and division.
The seeds lingered in the air for months, years, even decades … bequeathing a trail of broken hearts, relationships, and lives!
After pastoring for over 30 years (34 to be exact), I have seen the devastating impact of gossip. It is usually promoted and practiced by people who do not realize what this sin is doing to them, others, and especially their own family members. For some time I have toyed with the idea of writing a simple story that would communicate the dangers of gossip to the perp as well as others. We usually think about how much damage they do to the person that is the topic of their gossip without really considering what it is doing to them. I really thought about James and the fire that is started and how the person who starts the fire is burned by the forrest fire they start. ~Craig Bowers