Friday, May 23, 2014
A Time to Speak
Blessings are words of affirmation and love spoken to another. When a person speaks these words and then exhibits them by action or deed, the person receiving the words and deeds is blessed beyond measure. Gary Smalley and John Trent speak of the five elements of the blessing in their book by the same title. These elements are a meaningful touch, a spoken message, the attachment of high value to the one being blessed, the creation of a word picture of the special future perceived to the one being blessed, and an active commitment to fulfill the blessing. Although all individuals can share the blessing with their loved ones, family members have a greater opportunity to pass this blessing along to their off-spring or spouse simply because of the dedicated amount of time they spend together. The creation of a warm and responsive environment facilitates a positive sense of self-worth in children and a spouse, blesses them, and helps them develop intellectually and to his or her full potential.
Althought it may be a little easier to pass along the blessing to those we live with, simply because we spend so much time with them, it is also possible and important to share the blessing with our friends as well. Although sometimes it is good to sit quietly and listen, letting silence speak, there are times that it is very important to speak. . .with words. Simply silence is sometimes not enough. A friend read my earlier blog post where I quoted Rahel Remen and she said to me that the "silent" quote really struck a sour note with her. She said there have been several times in her life when just a few words from someone have been so comforting and life changing. And those at those times that she felt she was met with silence that felt cold and distant. She has a good point. For anyone supporting a friend in need, I think it is important that we be intuitive and sensitive, seeking to listen when we should, and affirm by words and action when more is needed. It is my friends who sit and listen to me as I express concerns, thoughts, and feelings that are the ones I connect with most. They listen, have compassion, and they understand. Usually they lovingly offer wise advice and counsel, helping me see which direction I need to take or expressing care about something in life that is concerning me. A glass of cold water or a cup of hot tea shared together during times of need, along with their time, their attention, a listening ear, and words of wisdom help to ground me and aid me in going on with life admidst concerns of my heart. As Ecclesiasted 3:8 says: there is a time to remain silent, and a time to speak up. If only each of us had enough intuition to know when to listen and when to speak. Words can be a strong force for encouragement and care. Take time to craft them carefully and offer the blessing to those you hold dear.