Friday, September 28, 2012

WHERE NEVER IS HEARD A DISCOURAGING WORD

Sometimes I talk to myself. I might say, "Now when you see so-and-so be sure not to mention her recent weight gain. You know it's a sensitive subject." But then I find myself saying something like, "Hi Margie! Good to see you around. Well, I don't mean aROUND. I mean here. Back at church." Then I wonder why she misses the next few Sundays. Maybe that's why they have me playing piano rather than be a greeter.

I can relate to Uncle Buck in the first minute of this scene:

Doug came home once warning me about a funeral, "The family is upset because the father's body doesn't look good even though the funeral home tried. They still decided to have an open casket."

I went to the viewing and told myself, "Whatever you say, don't mention how their father looks." I spoke to each family member in the line:

"I'm so sorry to hear of your loss."
"We've been praying for you."
"Let us know if we can do anything."
"He'll be missed."

I tried not to sound repetitive but by the time I reached his son, a good friend from church, I heard my voice say the one thing I'd told myself NOT to say:
"He looks good."

Immediately Jack said, "No, he doesn't!" He looked at me as
if I was either crazy or blind.

Panicked I ran the spiel of dittos trying to cover my faus pax, "I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, we've been praying, let us know if we can do anything, he'll be missed. . ."
Just shut up, Kathy! Just slither away!

I've even done it without saying a word. I just laughed inappropriately.

A new couple came to church and she played violin beautifully with our praise band. The next week after service she introduced me to her husband. We smiled, shook hands and I innocently asked, "And where do you work, Tom?"

He stammered, "I-I-I-I'm a sp-sp-speech therapist at East C-C-Carolina University."

I thought he was joking so I laughed hysterically. He merely smiled, the same smile as moments before our meeting. He's not joking.

Now it's even harder to retract a laugh than spoken words. The ring just lingers in the air, even as your smile shrinks!

A friend recently reminded me, "I've never regretted anything I didn't say."

I'm learning. I'm learning.

I truly am an encourager. . .usually!

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