Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Initiating Conversation

"...Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak." Acts 13:15

A kind word can warm three months of winter. - Japanese Proverb

I remember when we were going through the agony of dealing with a rebellious daughter. She had done everything she could think of to go against what her father and I and her church had taught her was right. I felt like such a failure as a parent. No matter where I went, I tried desparately to avoid talking with people. I dreaded the question, "How are things going with your daughter?"

Then one Sunday morning at church, another mother, a little older and wiser, took me aside and said, "I know you're having a tough time right now. We went through a really hard time with our daughter too." This was a lady I thought had it all together. She always proudly brought her grandchildren to church with her. I never knew the story behind it.

When she was done sharing, I suddenly had a deep sense of relief. Someone understood. Someone had been there before and had survived all the hurt. She didn't give me platitudes of how God was going to work things out. By initiating that conversation, she simply told me she cared and understood. That was what I needed most then and I knew that God was in it.

(Copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

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