#Write31Days – Post 5 – A Man of Few Words

twowaystreet

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:15

My husband is a man of few words.  He is not likely to tell you a long story about his day.  Sure, if you start talking to him about his favorite subjects he is a wealth of knowledge… but even then he is tempered.   He’s just not one to fill space with small talk.  What makes this such an amazing trait is that when he does speak, it’s worthy to stop and listen.

Many times I have come to his with a problem, complaint, or question and he’s left it up to me to make the decision.  However, there are times when I sit in awe of the wisdom that falls out of his mouth.  He has an ability to see things that I miss, or think of things in a way I hadn’t considered.  There have been a number of times where he has stopped me in my tracks, and I’ve found myself pondering a single statement for weeks.

Recently, I had been struggling internally with a decision that would relate to our long term future.  This is what I do, I will weigh decisions out in my head for months before I even bring it up to him.   I like to come to terms with myself before I bring someone else into my crazy.  (HA!)  I explained the decision to him, and he listened intently.  Then I dropped the bomb:

Do you think I can do this?

His reply…. a single sentence.

The wise man said:  “I think you can do it, but I don’t think you should.”

What an answer!  It was an answer that didn’t in any way undermine by ability, capability, talent, or skills.    In fact, quite the opposite.  He was encouraging and supportive, while at the same time discerning and thoughtful.  No one has ever said that sentence to me before in the past.  Everything in my life has been a black or white answer.  Yes you can.  No you can’t.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  You can’t do everything yourself.

For anyone wonder, no he didn’t leave me dangling with that single sentence for long.  Of course I wanted to explore what his thoughts were, so a deluge of questions from me followed.

Interestingly enough, my husband thought I was thinking too small.  He saw something bigger and greater for me.  He was looking at my gifts as a sum total, how they all work together, how they can be used in a way that was far greater than what I saw for myself.

Many of the plans of man seem noble and right, but it should be the plans of the Lord that are victorious.  We can do any number of good things, right things, and even godly things but if those are OUR plans or what SEEMS right to us… that doesn’t necessarily mean they are what God wants to happen.

We need to seek the wise counsel of others, it helps us to separate our selfish desires from His call, it helps define and refine the call by giving us a clearer vision or solid affirmation, it invites others in to prayer with us as we move forward in the call, and gives us the encouragement and support we need to do far more than we ever thought possible.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:20-21

WHEN SCANDAL IS EXPOSED

lightstock_35206_small_user_6426771

Your grandmother’s pearl necklace is a treasured family heirloom.  You toddler looks at it every time she passes your dresser.  It hangs from a special stand, it calls at her… longing to be held.  Every time she asks you if she can wear it, you tell her no.  Or, not right now.  You know in your head this is a special gift you want to give her on her wedding day.  She doesn’t know or understand that at all, she just knows that she wants to touch it.  This curiosity carries on for years.

Mom, can I wear it?

No, not right now.

When?

When you are older.

Why?

I don’t want you to break it.

I promise, I won’t!

I am not taking the chance.

One day, you happen to be distracted in the garden.  You are preparing your spring plantings.  Opportunity has presented itself, this time temptation overwhelms.  She sneaks in to your room, climbs the chair next to your dresser, slides the necklace of it’s stand and around her sweet little neck.  She hears the front door open, fearing getting caught, she panics and attempts to take the necklace off, and return it to the stand.  It snags.  Pearls fly every where.

Enter mom.

You see the pearls strewn about the floor.  You are angry.

You look up & see her tear stained face, lips quivering.  She knows she was wrong.  She knows she is trouble.  But worst of all, she knows she broke your heart.  This necklace that meant so much to you, is in pieces… just like her spirit.

What do you do?  How do you respond?

Do you point in her face, exclaiming how you knew this is what would happen?  Do you take to facebook, twitter or your blog and brag about you just knew this would happen, that it was impossible for your child to control her self?  Or, do you scoop her up and love her first…. worrying about the pearls later?

How would you feel if you shared this story with your friends, and the next day you find hundreds of shared posts about how your daughter messed up, questioning your parenting for leaving her inside unsupervised, that they always knew you were a bad parent, had bad children, etc?

What if your daughter could see all of those comments hurled at you, about your family?

This is the scenario that runs through my head every time I see some sort of major scandal break the news.   Particularly when it is a high profile Christian, or Christian family.  Very quickly the masses weigh in:

I always knew there was something wrong with that family, they can’t be that perfect.

I knew there was something untrustworthy about him, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

What a hypocrite, teaching his church one thing, while he lived another!

She had it coming, something about her just seemed off. 

No wonder her marriage failed, look how she treated him!

… and the list could go on forever.

In these comments, we are bragging about ourselves at the expense of someone’s deep pain.  And, even if “the guy” or “the girl” was wrong, totally, we ignore that they have a family (or church family) that is hurting too.

We don’t restrain our words, we just let them fly loosely, sticking where they land.  We don’t recognize that they are landing right in the lap of the woman who was cheated on, the church that was taken advantage of, the victims who have been trying to heal, and the children who have had their hero exposed to be a villain.

This isn’t a blog article to vindicate those who are guilty, to excuse their behavior.

It’s just a caution, that when a scandal breaks… before we do that victory dance, bragging about how right we are…

…. let’s not forget that someone is hurting in a way we can’t fathom.

Someone just had their world torn apart.

Someone just had an old wound ripped open.

Someone needs you to say, I am sorry this happened to you…

… more than they need to hear how right you were.

Someone, needs your prayers.