She didn’t know what it was, and quite honestly, she didn’t care. The 18-month-old little one affectionately known as “the Baby” was simply glad to have the small bottle of spray hand sanitizer in her possession. It stayed close to her mouth most of the time, and after several minutes of effort, she even removed the protective cap.
There was a bit of residual spray on the top of the pump, and it was quickly licked up by her indiscriminate tongue. This is the way of toddlers; I was taught in child development that children of this age explore the world around them using their mouths, and the Baby could be a perfect case study.
As I watched her play with the hand sanitizer, used by millions of us to kill germs (good and bad) on our hands, the idea of mouth sanitizer was suddenly very real. Few of us would spray our mouths with hand sanitizer, for good reason.
But I have often wished that ensuring that “the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart” were pleasing to God were so quick and easy. I have found myself in the middle of conversation when I realized that neither my heart nor my words were pleasing to God (or to anyone else). My wants and my frustrations had bubbled up and out, and the result was uncomfortable for everyone. I had to apologize, but the consequences were not undone.
James agrees that mouth control is a challenge. It may not come with a spray, but words of life springing from a heart of love are worth cultivating.