No Words

Have you ever been without words? Believe it or not, I’ve been there a time or two. I mean you can’t even muster a thought and put words together? There’s nothing you can say because there’s really nothing to say.

At that moment do you try to say something cliche? Do you conjure up words in your mind that aren’t coming from the heart? To be honest, that’s what I try to do. I feel like I need to give them something.

But can I just tell you, I had absolutely no words? No words that were even cliche or soothing. The only words that spilled from my mouth were, “I don’t understand why but I know God is Sovereign and all I can do is pray. That’s literally all I can do.”

At that moment, what I realized is that my mouth didn’t overrun my heart. (It happens frequently). My heart was truly aching for my friend but I didn’t understand, nor did I pretend to understand, the depth of her feelings. If you haven’t walked through what another person is walking through you don’t understand and it’s simply not wise to say you do. Nor is it wise to give the pat and cliche phrases. It does not benefit either of you. Empty words without heart are purely meaningless.

Most people have really good intentions and they want to say words of comfort but sometimes the best comfort is no words at all.

What’s important to understand is that people’s response to hardships all differ. We must take into account that things from their past may affect how they feel about and react to current situations. And unless you are privy to that information there is no possible way for you to begin to get into their psyche and understand.

Why is it that we feel so compelled to say something?

I know for me, personally, I just want to be an encouragement. And so I try to find encouraging words, but when the words don’t come, I need to realize and recognize that words are sometimes not necessary. Sometimes it’s simply the act of being there, being available and giving a listening ear that means more than words!

Colossians 4:6” Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Lessons from Winnie the Pooh

I must confess, I love Winnie the Pooh. I mean how can you not? He’s a “chubby, little cubby all stuffed with fluff.” He’s so simple and yet so profound. I think that what I love most about him. Not to mention, my oldest and youngest both adored him when they were young.

I’ve known plenty of people in my life, including me, sometimes who’ve sat around in my own little corner waiting for someone to call. Waiting on that invitation to hangout and much to my dismay, the call did not come. The invitation hasn’t been issued and I am disappointed.

But what if I decide to initiate and move from my little corner and into theirs? What if they’re awaiting my invitation? What if they need me more than I need them? Or better yet, what if I find by moving out of my comfy, cozy chair, I am actually moving beyond myself and growing in the process of going?

You see if I stay where I’m always comfortable and expect people to come to me, I am making it about me. In the end, I am going to be disappointed and disillusioned because I was putting hope and expectation for others to meet my needs. However, if I get over myself and go to their corner of the Forest, then I am taking the focus off me and making it about someone else.

In doing this, I have learned that often the reciprocal is true. Once I step out of my comfort zone and into theirs, more often than not, they’ll eventually step into mine. But sometimes they won’t and I just have to be okay with that. You see in a relationship it’s not about what I can get out of it but what I can put into it that matters. If I am putting in time and effort because I am attempting to draw something from it, my attempts are a wasted effort and are of no value to me or them. You see, there’s a beauty when we can give of ourselves and expect absolutely nothing in return.

So, what if they fail to reciprocate? Sure, you may feel a twinge of disappointment but all is not lost because, in the process of getting out of your little corner in the Forest, you’ve learned that it’s not about you.

My friend Bob

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were just thankful to be in the right place at the right time to meet someone incredible?

That’s exactly how I feel about my friend Bob. Let me tell you how I met Bob.

I first met Bob back in 1993, when I worked for Woodform Cabinetry. During my year working for Greg and Bryant, I enjoyed the privilege of meeting a lot of fine folks. Bob was one of them. Bob also happens to be Greg’s dad.

After working there almost a year, I left full time work for part time so I could be with my children.

Then, in 2007, as God would weave and work, He led me back to Woodform Cabinetry. Again, I reconnected with Bob. He would come by the office, sometimes to visit Greg. Sometimes to collect kindling or sometimes just to come chat with me. In fact, whatever reason he found to come by, he always found time to pull up a chair and talk to me. Most of the time as he was leaving he would thank me for listening to him.

He was always curious about Ryan and Matthew because, he too, had served in the Marines. He always took opportunities to tell me what he heard about GE and ask if they were true. He was always concerned and curious because he retired from GE. Bob always loved to tell me stories about his life, his family and in particularly, his boys. My was he a proud Dad and granddad, for that matter.

As time went on Bobs health declined and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He kept going but eventually had to give up driving. When that happened, he wasn’t able to come visit the shop as often. Occasionally, he would come by when Mrs. Ann would take him for a haircut. However, he would still call. In fact there were times he would call to have me look up something for him on the computer or he would call just to chat. I would say, “Do you want to talk to Greg?”

He would respond, “No. Just tell him I called.”

Bob was a gentle and kind hearted man, a true servant and 100% reliable. The kind who would stand by his word. The type you could count on.

On Wednesday evening, February 21, God called my friend Bob to his Heavenly Home.

As I was looking for his obituary, I came across this article about my friend Bob. Read here. These are a few of the stories he shared with me. As you can clearly see from the article, my friend Bob was a very unique and special man. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. I feel truly humbled and blessed to be able to call Bob my friend.