So many times I struggle with finding the right words for the right situation. When someone has lost a spouse, a family member, a pet, a friend, it is very difficult to find the words to convey how sorry I am and how much I care. Too many times, my day has been totally ruined by one word, or a series of words. And then once in a while, much to my surprise and delight, just the right words find me at just the right time.
This week has been rough. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride and believe me, I hate roller coasters. My heart was shattered, my pride stripped and burned with a hot iron, and my spiritual life questioned. I felt disrespected and abandoned. The future looked bleak. I was angry, confused, rebellious, and broken. I felt like a fox with my leg caught in a trap and I was prepared to bite anyone who came close to me.
But then, an amazing thing happened. On Thursday, I entered the Fellowship Hall to attend a meeting and no one else had arrived but one pastor. The first thing he said to me was that he had been reading over the notes from the last meeting, which I had written, and he told me how good he thought they were and how he appreciated me doing them. Wow. Talk about being knocked off my feet. Not literally, but the appreciation was unexpected, nice, and boosted my feeling of self-worth a notch or two from the gutter it was laying in earlier.
That is not where the conversation stopped. It was probably 3 or 4 minutes before another person arrived to the meeting and in that 3 or 4 minutes, that pastor said every word I needed to hear at that moment, on that day. He was from another church and had not been in contact with me, so he had absolutely no idea of what I was struggling with. But somehow, the brief conversation took a turn down the street I needed to travel.
You see, I was fully prepared to resign from that team. My plan was to tell them that would be the last meeting I would be attending for this event.. And then, I was going to go back to my office and write my resignation from my job, having no other job lined up, and not knowing what I would do.
Within three minutes, I heard the right words, the words I needed to hear on that day, at that time. God was alive and working through that pastor, and He was working in me.
A word can be tiny, but pack enormous power. Simple words can mean the world to someone at any given moment, and complex words totally miss their mark. Make no mistake, words can wound and maim. They can bring the most powerful to their knees, and the weakest to destruction. But they can also renew hope, bring understanding, and show caring. We have the choice of choosing our words to either tear someone apart, or boost them up. It’s important to choose wisely. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. For all of us, it is a constant struggle, if we really care.
The pastor was holding the door open when we were all leaving the meeting. As I walked through, he shook my hand and said he would be praying for me. Kind words spoken with meaning. Knowing someone cared enough to pray, even though he still had no knowledge of what I was struggling with, only that I was struggling. They were the right words for me on that day. They were powerful.
How have words shaped your day? Your emotions? Your life?
Be kind to each other.