Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Forgotten Word

The Homecoming worship service was over and folks were heading toward the Fellowship Hall for a much anticipated covered dish meal.   On the way some folks stopped to talk.  Some folks were talking about the way the preacher for the day looked different than the one who filled the pulpit in that place over 40 years ago.  "Didn't you wear black rim glasses back then?" asked one.  Another offered, "And your hair was really black as I recall."  Both of those things were more than true and there were other changes which were kindly not noted.  Then to my left a woman started talking, "I remember your visit to Momma in the hospital when she had surgery.  It was a tough time for me personally and I remember what you told me."  She then went on to tell me in a rough verbatim fashion the conversation we had and what it had meant to her through the years.  I remembered her mother in the hospital, but the conversation was indeed a forgotten word.
Life works that way for all of us.  Sometimes we are able to say things to folks in the midst of their darkness that is truly helpful and encouraging.  Sometimes when we wonder about the reason for the going and wonder what actually was accomplished God does something without letting us know that He did it.  We may never find out about, or it may be decades later that we learn that what we thought was filled with the ordinary was a holy moment for someone else.  And, it is also true that all of us carry memories of how someone spoke a word to us at a critical moment and enabled us to make it even though we thought making it was impossible.
God does such surprising stuff.  It should not surprise us when we realize it, but it does, nonetheless. When the ordinary turns into the holy it is never about our sharp minds and quick words, but about what He is doing, sometimes through us, and sometimes despite us.  We can simply be grateful that in His hands we can be more useful than ever we thought to be possible.

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