Friday, November 9, 2007

Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

***Edited to Add: Please, please, please, please do not take this post personally!!! I am speaking from my heart about what God is teaching ME regarding MY own words and receiving what others say to me. I have not been offended or hurt by the words of others this week. I have considered the heart of each speaker and loved her for sharing with me. I love each of you who have called and emailed and appreciate you!!

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11.

I've been thinking a lot about words today. As you can imagine, I've been on the receiving end of a lot of words this week. Spoken words as well as emailed words. Some words concisely expressed my thoughts and emotions. Some words felt, well, empty. And still others expressed ideas I disagree with, which only resulted in annoyance and irritation.

I know the hearts behind each of these words meant well. Each speaker intended to ease my grief. She desired to offer comfort. She sought, through words, to diminish my pain. From the depths of her own experiences and beliefs she offered her words to me.

It is new for me to be on the receiving end of such an outpouring of love. Frankly, it feels awkward and strange. I am accustomed to being on the giving end. Which also feels awkward and uncomfortable, but in a different kind of way.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have many friends and family members who have walked this path of miscarriage and grief ahead of me. I've thought about each one this week and wondered. Wondered if the words I offered during her time of mourning felt empty, or worse yet, painful. I'm sure to some they did. I prayed about this early in the week, asking God to forgive me for times when I spoke useless or painful words rather than just listening.

You know what? The Lord was gracious to me, as always. On Monday, a friend, who has walked this journey before me, emailed. She reminded me of a time after her own miscarriage when I simply listened to her, didn't try to make the pain go away, but just listened and prayed with her.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24. Just as my lack of words had been sweet to her soul, my friend's reminder felt sweet to my own soul.

My Lord reminded me of His own words today. And what could be better than the words of the One who is The Word of Life?

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4.

"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Psalm 66:8-10.

"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Thank you for sharing this.

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