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Having the Right Words


What would you do?  On a Wednesday you reach out to someone and ask for them for help with a situation – you’re asking them to make a connection to someone they know who can help you.  By Sunday night you haven’t heard back.  Do you check in and ask again?

I did, but I didn’t need to and wished I hadn’t, at least before this life lesson resulted…

Last Wednesday, I approached my Pastor and asked him for help.  I knew he was an extremely resourceful, well-connected person.  I was not surprised at his quick offer of help for this need that involved one of our children.  He’d make the connection and get back to me.  Sunday night came and I was anxious, so I emailed him with a friendly reminder.

I apologized for my impatience soon after.

The lesson from came by way of his response to my apology – “No impatience.  A dad need never apologize for being a good one.”  His response really hit me, considering that many people may respond to impatience with a sharp word or two.  The lesson I learned wasn’t so much about being patient, it was about having the right words.  Kind words.  He always has them, no matter what you’ve said, done or requested.

The other lesson I learned was that emotions often give no warning before they show themselves.  The next time I saw him, my voice cracked unexpectedly and I had to pause as I tried to get out these kind words back to him, “You permeate my consciousness regularly.”  Some big words and perhaps a funny way to thank him but I felt like he needed to know that his kindness has an effect not only on the thoughts, but the behavior of all those to whom he ministers, myself included.  Here’s to all of us using kind words whose “echoes are endless.”

(I’d thank him by name here, but I know he doesn’t seek or need the glory.)