Friends, I want to tell you that we can never underestimate the power of a genuinely delivered kind word to someone.
I say genuinely because phony friendly is about as welcome as grumpiness in my day.
But this past week, I was the recipient of GENUINE kindness on several occasions and what a blessing each time.
One I would like to share with you because the circumstances surrounding it were so tender.
On Sunday evening, Russ and I attended the most beautiful and praise-filled memorial service for one of God’s precious saints who, in our minds, left us too soon…but we trust God for these things and know His timing is perfect.
We were bone tired after a full weekend of two rounds of company and then spending Sunday helping our little mommy-to-be-with-#4 corral the three little guys while she recuperated from the flu.
Because we came from up north, we arrived too late to go through the visitation line.
We just took our seats and were so blessed by a Jesus-filled service of praise and worship and thanksgiving.
Afterwards we went down to give our condolences to the family; and her husband greeted me exuberantly with these words as he took my hand….
“She sure loved you!”
I was overwhelmed and humbled but also felt like balm had been poured over my broken heart.
Now please hear me…this is no great shakes that I am anything worthy of that kind of an edification from a man struggling with the grief and loss of his beloved spouse.
This was not at all about boosting an ego but more God reaching out through this man’s words to breathe life into a fatigued spirit.
This is about a brother-in-Christ who faced outward in his sorrow and thought about what different people had meant to his wife and then had the transparency to share it with us openly and honestly.
I am quite certain many who went through that line received this gracious ministry. A sacrifice of love given from someone who was choosing JOY in the midst of deepest grief and loss.
What a great example for all of us.
These are times of great conflict.
Everyone seems to be spoiling for a fight of some kind.
Harsh words are flung…and often it is because we have been meditating on what we would like to tell so-and-so in response to whatever the hot topic of the day is.
I find myself mulling over some snippet of rhetoric and rehearsing what I would like to say and then I end up spewing it on some unsuspecting soul who happens to be a safe place for my rant.
Because Lord knows…I detest a real confrontation with an actual opponent.
Perhaps you do not struggle with such…but for me, this is the time I most need to set aside all thinking from how I will engage in the next argument and instead pray for God to give me kind words of encouragement to bestow on those I might encounter throughout a given day.
This is a time when I need to focus on not only what I love about others, but on what GOD loves about others.
I want to be outward facing instead of inward brooding.
I think there are plenty who would benefit if God would answer my prayer to keep my mind focused on things above as I seek to breathe His words of encouragement into the lives I bump up against <3
Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.
May we, who call ourselves Christ-followers, be wise in how we use our words<3