Elbow Curses [Andrew McMillan]

I’m flying from Colombia into Fort Lauderdale. An hour into the flight, the young man next to me suddenly yells at me, “Quit touching me with your f’n elbow!”  I said I didn’t know I was but I sure would be careful. I tried to talk to him, but he closed his eyes and turned his head. I am so adept at reading body language that I discerned he didn’t want to talk about it. We didn’t talk or touch for the rest of the flight, but I could not get his words out of my head. Even when I was walking off the plane in the salmon colored sky, I wondered if my elbow was a jerk— if I was a jerk. In my head, I knew the kid was the jerk with a hurt, but his words dug deeper into my head. It took about an hour to wake up and rinse those words from my soul. I said to my elbow, “You amazing elbow, always helping me eat, brush my teeth, do push ups and eat burritos. I bless you.”

If those words from a stranger, whom I’ll never see again, had so much power, how do kids deal with curses from their dads, their coaches, their brothers and sisters?  Once I was doing LSD in college with a guy, whom I thought was my best friend. He suddenly looks straight into my eyes and says, “I hate your guts.” I asked why. He didn’t know but he knew he hated me. He walked away, ending that beautiful drug-booze friendship. That same year, my girlfriend said I just didn’t have it. I didn’t know what “it” was but I was sure I didn’t have “it”. Words blew holes in me and then filled them with bacteria. I did not know I could rinse myself with the water from the Word, who tells me I am a beloved son.

Surely, the jerk in seat 23B had been tortured with words. We cannot underestimate the damage of spoken words, neither can we underestimate the power of speaking the Word of truth to each other and ourselves.  I bless your elbows.



Cookies Bakery Elegant Birthday Gift Certificate.png




In 1994, the McMillan family traveled to the kidnappingmurder, and drug capital of the western hemisphere to plant a church and a foundation. God thought Medellin, Colombia a good place to raise a family. And turns out He was right (as He usually is). It became a very large family: The church, Comunidad (Community), is now the largest church in Medellin with over 8,000 members, the Foundation, Viento Fresco, cares for over 150 high-risk children, and a non-profit coffee shop, New Hearts Cafe, serves cups of caffeine and the love of Jesus to thousands of college students.

God is doing so much in Medellin, and we write about here on the Teammcmillan.org blog!


Contact us by joining our email list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s