The Tongue Can Cause Great Damage
Once a woman told a very ugly, slanderous story about her old pastor, which spread very fast through the whole assembly and created problems even far away.
Soon afterwards the woman got very sick, repented and confessed her lies.
When she was well again she went to her pastor and begged for his forgiveness.
"Surely I will forgive you." said the old pastor friendly, "but, because you hurt me so much I would like to ask you now for a favour." "Oh, I'd love to.", the woman cried out relieved. "Go home and slaughter a black chicken. Pull all its feathers out, even the smallest and don't lose any of them. Then put the feathers into a basket and bring them to me." The woman thought it was an old custom and did as she was told. After a short while she came to the pastor with the basket filled with the black feathers. "So," he said "now go slowly through the village and every three steps you scatter a few feathers and then you climb up the church tower, where the bells are hanging and throw the rest down unto the village. Then come back to me."
After an hour the woman returned to the pastor with the empty basket. "Great" he said friendly. "Now go through the village and collect all the feathers back into your basket, but make sure, that none are missing!" The woman looked shocked and said: "That's impossible! The wind has distributed the feathers in all directions." "Well, you see, it's the same with your ugly words. Who can collect them again and take them back and let the harm be undone? Think about the small black feathers, before you spread words like this again!"
Taken from HQL-0027, p. 29-30