Women have a lot of words we have to get out every single day. We keep lists of things we need to do, lists of things to talk to people about and in general are “over” communicators. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. I think God gave me an extra dose of word quota per day, but that’s a whole other can of worms.
Recently I was visiting a family member in the hospital. He has stage IV cancer and it wasn’t looking good at the time. I never have the right words in those situations. There’s never the right words to convey the sympathy and empathy that is appropriate. If you’ve never walked in their shoes how do you know how awful it truly is? I cannot even imagine. And even saying “I cannot imagine your pain” doesn’t seem like the right words.
As I walked into the hospital I was praying “God, please just let me have the right words. Give me your words to say. God let the words coming out of my mouth be the words she needs to hear.” I was nervous. I have a big mouth. Nothing ever comes out right. I’m messy.
I stayed with them for hours. He was mostly unresponsive so his wife and I passed the time together. There was never the right moment to interject my words. I listened. I listened for hours and sat and we shared stories of fun and joy and freedom from the pain of this world. She poured out her hurt and pain and grief and hope. And through the chatting and the listening there was never a moment to share “God’s words.” I was just there for her heart as she sat and watched her best friend in life die a slow agonizing death.
As I walked out of the hospital at 3am, the streets were quiet, the moon shined above, and for a moment there was peace. Sometimes peace is not achieved through words of encouragement or kind thoughts, or thoughtful deeds. Sometimes peace is achieved by just listening, by just being.
God taught me that showing His love through listening is just as important as showing his love through words. I prayed that God would give me the right words when the right words were no words at all.
Its not always about sharing the gospel through words, it can be sharing the gospel through love. Sacrificial love.
Who can you love today? Who can you listen to today?
Proverbs 10:19 – When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Proverbs 3:6-10 – n all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.