Mary Dyer Hubbard 


My Unwanted Word


Loving God,

When I was a kid, I’d sometimes chant:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

I lied. It was just a bluff.
Words often did hurt me.
Still do.

One word in particular is my nemesis.
I never want to be called that word
and I way exaggerate going in its opposite direction.

What an effort this takes!
How contorted I get trying to pretzel myself
into this imaginary perfect.

Please help me, my Tender-Hearted God.
You can see how much I suffer with this.

Remind me of how your Jesus had all kinds of mean words tossed his way:
Drunkard at weddings
Guy who hangs around with a bad crowd
Breaker of the Sabbath
Man who associates with loose women
Charlatan, false prophet
Uneducated poser
Not one of God’s chosen

Stir up courage in me as you did in him.
Let me lean into your love and embrace all of me.
May this word that I dread
become a source of grace and growth for me.

No matter what insults anyone hurls at me,
let me remember the one word that heals all. I am:




Mary Dyer Hubbard savors stories and the people who share them. She has been: nun, teacher, campus minister, chaplain and pastoral counselor. In her present life, she’s delighted to be: Carl’s wife, a singer/guitar player in their music group Side by Side, a licensed professional counselor, creative writer and public speaker.