April 9, 2014
I used to think I was a good communicator. I believed I could say what I meant and people would understand that I meant what I said. But no longer do I think that I have that gift. Well, at least not as much as I once did.
As a person who preaches, I find that often what I think I said is not what people heard. Or it didn’t come across out loud like it was sounding in my head. And you never know what it will be that people latch onto. But, can’t we all be guilty of hearing what we want to hear or picking up only parts of what someone is saying?
This past Sunday I thought I was communicating hope and a positive message. But when nothing was said about the sermon as people left, I wondered if the words had fallen flat. In the message, I felt God had given me the perfect example to use, but evidently it didn’t work out that way.
The rest of the day I was bummed. Did I say it wrong? Did the words not convey what it was meant for them to? Had I just completely messed up God’s message about the dry bones living again?
Fast forward to Tuesday’s Bible Study and a ray of hope. Someone mentioned the sermon Sunday in connection to the lesson for the day and several said how good they thought it was (maybe it just took some time to sink in). Anyway, I was so taken aback that I didn’t think to ask what was good about it; I just took the positive affirmation and said thank you. Then I mentioned how difficult the last few days had been with different happenings at the church. I said I was struggling, but still smiling, and that I hoped I wouldn’t lose my cool at some point. Out of the blue, someone quoted something to me from a sermon given at the first of this year. The Sunday before Epiphany, I borrowed an idea from Pastor David Lose and prepared copies of a prayer for folks to say every morning. The prayer was:
How quickly her quoting that prayer made my day turn around. And how encouraged I was that maybe I can still be effective with my communication skills. It certainly was a reminder that the words spoken on Sunday morning are really God’s words and that God uses them to reach people in ways I can never imagine - or control. Thanks be to God!
P.S. Thank you to blogger "From the Strawberry Patch" for taking the photo of the paper and blogging about it yourself in January!