Often we remain silent when we need to speak. Without words, it is hard to love well. When we say to our parents, children, lovers, or friends: “I love you very much” or “I care for you” or “I think of you often” or “You are my greatest gift,” we choose to give life.

It is not always easy to express our love directly in words. But whenever we do, we discover we have offered a blessing that will be long remembered. When a son can say to his father, “Dad, I love you,” and when a mother can say to her daughter, “Child, I love you,” a whole new blessed place can be opened up, a space where it is good to dwell. Indeed, words have the power to create life.

-Henri Nouwen

 

I remember it vividly, as if it were this morning.  I was staying with my parents.  A grown man with children of my own, feeling like the biggest loser in the world.  I had not been divorced all that long and to make matters worse the divorce had been the consequence of a series of bad bad choices on my end years earlier.  And to top it off, months after the spectacle I had went out and messed up my life even more. I felt like my insides were being torn out to be frank.

One morning as I was laying in bed, home from my job (which required traveling)—But he knew I was dying inside and it was killing him.  I began to cry and I couldn’t stop.  Silence and sobs.  And out of nowhere my dad said seven words: You are a man of God, Ken.  He didn’t need to say anything else, it didn’t matter to me what I felt like or the fool I had made of myself, I was still God’s man.       

 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.   (Colossians 3:12-14, The Message Bible)

Thank God he’s a Father who has chosen to love me and pick me up when I can’t even lift my chin.

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