Tag Archives: death and life

Battered by Words

“Death and life are in the power of
the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21)

The excerpt below is from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (pt. 5, pg. 263). It’s of the most searing word pictures I have ever encountered, in that it paints an unforgettable image of the consequences of wanton verbal abuse; of the wounds an uncontrolled tongue can impart.

After a miscarriaged pause, the mayor’s wife edged forward and picked up the book. She was battered and beaten up, and not from smiling this time. Leisel could see it on her face. Blood leaked from her nose and licked at her lips. Her eyes had blackened. Cuts had opened up and a series of wounds were rising to the surface of her skin. All from the words. From Leisel’s words.