Pon guarda a mis manos

Elsa Sichrovsky

La Biblia habla bastante del poderoso efecto de nuestras palabras. Uno de mis versículos preferidos es: «Señor, pon guarda a mi boca; vigila la puerta de mis labios». (Salmo 141:3)

Naturalmente, la Biblia se escribió mucho antes de la era actual de aplicaciones de redes sociales y mensajería; de ahí que no menciona nada acerca del efecto beneficioso o perjudicial que podría tener el uso de los dedos para escribir mensajes. Hace poco tuve una experiencia que me enseñó que lo que la Biblia advierte sobre la lengua debería servirme para textear en mis dispositivos con la misma actitud de prudencia y oración.

girl with phoneTres amigos y yo estábamos abocados a un proyecto y comunicábamos frecuentemente por Facebook Messenger. En cierta ocasión uno de ellos, John, se ausentó inesperadamente de una teleconferencia que era crucial. Como consecuencia, los demás no pudimos tomar ninguna decisión sin la información que él tenía el deber de presentar.

Exasperada por su ausencia, que hasta ese momento no tenía explicación, y la pérdida de tiempo que nos acarreó, lancé un comentario en el chat del grupo: «Detesto sostener una teleconferencia cuando falta uno de los miembros del equipo».

sad boyHasta ese momento John había sido un compañero responsable y servicial en el grupo, pero poco después de aquella ausencia perdió interés en participar. Más tarde supe por un amigo en común que el día de aquella importante cita John había tenido que atender un asunto urgente y que no había sido su intención incumplir con su compromiso. Le dolió mi exabrupto y casi decide abandonar el grupo.

Me di cuenta de que de haber sido presencial aquella conferencia, probablemente yo no hubiera hecho ese comentario. En cambio, con la sensación de seguridad que se tiene cuando uno se escuda tras la pantalla del computador, me sentí libre de soltar lo que se me ocurriera. Independientemente de que mi irritación estuviera justificada o no, caí en la cuenta de que tenía algo que aprender. «Señor, pon guarda a mis dedos; vigila mis manos cuando tipeo».

Text courtesy of Activated magazine. Image 1 by designed by Asierromero / Freepik. Image 2 designed by jcomp / Freepik

Keep Watch Over My Hands

By Elsa Sichrovsky

The Bible has a lot to say about the power of what we say. One of my favorite verses is “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

Obviously, the Bible was written before the current era of social media and messenger apps, so it’s silent about the potential to either help or hurt when I use my fingers to tap out messages. I recently had an experience that taught me that the biblical warnings about the tongue should guide me to text with equal prayerfulness and prudence.

girl with phoneThree friends and I were working on a project and we frequently had discussions on Facebook Messenger. On one occasion, John was unexpectedly absent for a crucial online discussion, and as a result, the rest of us were unable to come to any decisions without the information that he was responsible for presenting.

In my exasperation over his unexplained absence and our wasted time, I fired off a text in the group chat: “I hate trying to have group discussions when one of our group members is missing!”

sad boy

Up to this point, John had been a helpful and responsible team member, but shortly after this absence, he became uninterested. Later, I heard from a mutual friend that on the day of that important meeting John had had some urgent matters come up and he hadn’t intended to neglect his commitment to the project. He felt hurt by my outburst and had almost decided to leave the group.

I realized that if we’d been having a face-to-face discussion, I probably wouldn’t have burst out with that remark. But with a feeling of safety behind the barrier of my laptop screen, I’d felt free to let loose with whatever came to mind. Regardless of whether my frustration was warranted or not, I realized that I had my own lesson to learn. “Set a guard over my fingers, Lord; keep watch over my hands when I text!”

Text courtesy of Activated magazine. Image 1 by designed by Asierromero / Freepik. Image 2 designed by jcomp / Freepik

The Boy Sitting Next to Me

By Edmond Sichrovsky


This should be easy, I thought as I prepared to enter high school. I didn’t expect to have any problems making friends or interacting with my classmates. Unfortunately, my confidence was shattered on the very first day of school, when I met the boy seated next to me in class.

Sean was about my height but twice my weight. He was careless in his studies, never studied for exams, and yelled and cursed at teachers and students alike. He bragged endlessly about the violent computer games he played, and their influence was evident in his angry, destructive behavior. I quickly started wishing I didn’t have to sit next to him.

Weeks passed, and Sean seemed to go from bad to worse. He failed nearly every exam, got into fights daily with other classmates, and made no friends. I did my best to be polite but kept my distance.


One day at lunch hour, the seat beside Sean was the last vacant one in the cafeteria. I reluctantly sat down, and we got to talking. During the short conversation that followed, I found out that Sean’s father had died when he was very young, and that his mother worked long hours on a night shift. Consequently, he was home alone most evenings and only got to spend time with her on weekends.

I was ashamed of my harsh judgmental attitudes and determined to reach out to Sean, even though that went against my natural inclinations.

At first, my attempts were only met with mocking refusals and deriding curses. I learned that Sean had been the brunt of ruthless bullying in the past, so it seemed that in order to protect himself, he had developed a very hard and unfeeling exterior. It was a struggle to include him whenever we picked teams, and it was tough trying to befriend him when my efforts were only rewarded with snide remarks. I was often tempted to get angry and wondered if he was worth my trouble.

As the months went by, however, Sean gradually grew friendlier. Then one morning, over four months after that initial conversation in the cafeteria, Sean insisted on pairing up with me for a class activity. I was shocked. “You’re always saying you never want to see me again,” I told him.

“That’s not true!” he replied, smiling broadly. “You’re my only friend—the one person who cares about me. I want us to always be friends.”

anime_hug_by_heximer13That day, I not only gained a friendship that is ongoing, but I also discovered a precious truth: Regardless of how a person acts, looks, or behaves, everyone wants and needs love and acceptance. Beneath the rocky surface of a person’s hard exterior is often a bud waiting to blossom. Kind words and loving deeds are to human hearts what sunshine is to flowers. It can take days, weeks, or sometimes even months or years for the results of our efforts to be rewarded, but one day that person will blossom.


Text adapted from Activated magazine. Used by permission.

Photo credits: Image 1: Kirimatsu via DeviantArt.com; used under CC license. Image 2: Flamespeedy via DeviantArt.com; used under CC-NC license. Image 3: Heximer via DeviantArt.com; used under CC license.