Fathers’ Day – Poetic Meditation on James 3

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Useless, Worthless, Hopeless
Merciless come his loveless lies
Ambitionless, Pointless
Spineless before those heartless eyes

Careless words, thankless tasks
Father to a fatherless child
Anchorless, Rudderless
Parenting in a parentless wild

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Socks and jocks, saws and drills.
Words of thanks, hugs a plenty.
Thank you Dad! You’re the best!
Thank you Dad! And yet there sits
Below this day of gifts and thanks
A silence that cannot be born
A silence without words of healing
Thanks gone unsaid
No stories before bed
A generation of men
Fathers but fatherless
A generation of boys
Emoted but emotionless
So many words spoken
So many words left unspoken
So many words rashly spoken
So many words harshly spoken

Words that are said
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unsaid

Today is a day where fathers are praised,
Where men are applauded for children raised
And today we come and some in a haze
At the pain and anguish of Fathers’ Day.

And in this day mixed of both joy and grief
Of prideful and joyous, of lost and bereft
Comes words of St James, written on this leaf,
About words, about tongues and what we say.

Words that are said
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unsaid

He says don’t be a teacher
‘cause teachers have a stricter judge
He says don’t be a teacher
Because our words cannot be fudged

But if you are a father
You are a teacher by default
You teach your children skillsets
You teach them to love or how to fault

You teach by words with power
“respect your teacher, don’t do that”
But words can teach bad habits
“Don’t answer back, you little brat!”

A person can’t be perfect,
Everyone has their little flaws
But think of a tongue tamer
Speaking only after a pause.

Pause and think about that man
The woman who with wisdom speaks.
Surely that person is the one,
The one in whom self control peaks

Not me! I’m not! I’ll admit.
Confess the truth you’ve made mistakes
You’ve said words you wish were not
Just one little outburst is all it takes.

So how can we be teachers.
Ones with words that bring other people life?
How do we tame our talking;
And stop from bringing others strife?

Words that are said
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unsaid

From Clancy of the Overflow to the colt from Old Regret,
We love a tale of horses tames and led.
The Olympic dressage sport of skill and finesse you can bet,
Takes control we can’t get in our head.
But the key to it all, how they control those mighty beasts,
A bit of metal five inches in size.

So our tongues, small things that drag us away from merciful peace,
Lead us to live lives full of bitter lies.

Another manly motif, seen on cards this fathers day:
A ship between the waves will wildly weave.
The wind a howling gale makes the barque to rock and sway
The captain sets the course to change with ease.
From starboard to the port side, he navigates the stormy deep
Steering by the tiny rudder at the stern
So little tongues sow words of hate, and great bitterness they reap
And little words breed children of concern.

Australians are familiar with fire fighters brave
Fighting blazes raging rampantly on.
Homes destroyed, lives and livestock lost, all powerless to save.
All by one small spark causing ignition.
But fervent words spark arguments, the primed powder kegs explode.
And families consumed by vile rage.
This little tongue speaks heinous words, which in deep dark hell abode,
And destines us to share their damn’ed cage.

So do you recognise the power that God has given your tongue?
Your words strike deep and keener than the sword
Don’t play with matches is wise advice, heeded only by some.
Take that advice about your words and you’ll get a great reward.
So Fathers, know your power as you speak with son and daughter;
Don’t take a life but rather save a soul,
The words you have neglected to speak are life saving water
Speaking life to your children is your role.

Words that are said
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unsaid

A funny name for my family cat.
He isn’t thin, he isn’t fat.
He doesn’t wear a silly hat.
He like to play he likes to sat,
And yet we named him taco.

Taco has some funny moods,
Sometimes he plays, sometimes he broods,
Whatever mood he can cause a wound,
Because he treats you just like food.
A vicious thing is Taco.

When he was little we were smitten
We wrestled with this tiny kitten.
And instead of punishment when we were bitten,
We simply bought a thicker mitten.
We made a fighter out of Taco.

We humans control many beast
Train a bird to travel east
Teach a lion not to feast
We teach a dolphin to clap at least,
But who controls the tongue?

We watch heroes like our man Bear Grylls
Crikey, Steve Irwin had some skills
With snakes as deadly as a box of pills.
But when venom from our mouth spills
Who can make our words undone?

Hope is found in the Holy Spirit,
To change our hearts, we don’t just will it,
Sin will only die when we let God kill it,
So don’t just try on our own merit,
Look to Jesus, he’s the only one.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Words are spoken,
We can’t take them back
Like toothpaste from the tube,
Their sticky smelly mess
Just won’t fit nicely back.
Our words are spoken,
But don’t despair
Yes words can maim
But words can heal.
“I wish you wouldn’t”
say it too often
and it leads to pain.
“I’m glad that you do”
What makes you you,
Are the words we say.
The encouraging words
Less of what you should
And more of I.
“You always” are the words
That will tear a son down.
“I feel like” it starts
As a daughter is found.
Biting your tongue,
Take a pause,
Take a breath,
Children will thank you,
Children with love you for that.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

But some here wish
They wish so much
That their father had said
Said anything, something.
Loving or hurting.
Not hung out all day
in the shed like a prison.
Not spent all night at the pub,
Like a bat in his mancave.
Today it caves in,
The craving for word;
Words of love and passion,
Words of healing and peace.
I know they know that you know that you love them,
But that’s no excuse,
The words must be said
“I love you”
Daughter is that what you long for?
“I respect you”
Son is that what you crave?
Father we need you,
We need the words spoken.

Love’s not a rare one from the set,
It’s best opened up,
Played with, not left,
On the shelf to gather dust,
A beautiful moment gathering rust.

Speak the words
Let them out
A Real Man
Tells people how they feel.
A real man
Loves no matter the cost
A real man says words, and saves the lost.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Looking for grapes then go to a grape vine
You won’t find figs on an olive tree grow.
But the fruit from our words: rotten, divine,
Curses, praises it should never be so.
Water that’s fresh is like nectar so sweet,
Never you find in a spring full of salt.
From the one tongue hymns sweep off from your feet
Springs from the same source creation assault.
So we sing praise to God here this morning,
Then go and eat lunch with his family.
Take this, my words, let it be a warning.
Make this worship the mould for harmony.
So let your words be life and be healing.
Like words you say to God when you’re kneeling.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Don’t feel ignored,
Don’t sit around being bored
By talk of fathers’ day
For you can tame your tongue.
We know the words that children
Speak to dads who just don’t get it.
They roll their eyes,
They roll them out the door,
They learn not to listen,
To ignore,
The words our fathers’ say.
We children are just as bad
As fathers who let it fly.
We let moments of peace pass us by,
And then we often wonder why,
We can’t get on, on fathers’ day.

So today please give
The time to listen,
To fathers’ rambling
Tales heard a thousand times.
Give words of love,
Words of healing.
Thank you,
I love you,
I forgive you too.
Forgive me when I’ve angered you.
Don’t leave wounds open,
Don’t let them fester.

Don’t be silent,
There’s nothing better
Than words when people are hurt
Than words when meeting on Fathers’ Day.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Perhaps it’s silence,
O’ So deafening.
Dad’s left for good,
The moment’s gone.
Our father’s passed
He’s lost for good,
He ran away,
He couldn’t stay.

I’m sorry for your loss.

The words are left,
Hanging right
In front of you
No one to hear them,
No one to say,
No one to celebrate with today.
No one to wish happy fathers’ day.

But you are not alone.
The words of an author,
The words of a song,
The song sung by the Word himself,
A song of love, of peace and health.
A father who reigns from on high,
A father who stays close nearby.

Words that are spoken
Who can tame the tongue?
Words left unspoken

Selfless, sinless, timeless:
Jesus the Father’s gift from above,
Blameless, faultless, guiltless:
How he sees us because of his love.

Our Father in heaven lost a son,
He brought him back the battle won,
He adopted you, his precious one.
To be your father – this Fathers’ Day.

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