Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Nice" Thoughts

I carefully wrapped the ornament in Christmas paper and slipped it into the gift bag I was filling with surprises for my sister. This particular decoration was actually just the word “nice” spelled out in heavy silver metal letters. I smiled at the thought that even without checking it twice I knew on which side of Santa’s list her name could be found!

And there it would be in good company, surrounded by a lot of other people who bless my life on a regular basis. There’s my teenage bagger friend who hails my arrival at work each day and hugs me when I leave. What about the girl working the drive-thru window at McDonald’s, who told me as she handed me my sausage biscuit and peppermint mocha that she looks for me each Sunday morning? Face after face popped in my mind that morning as I sat wrapping Christmas presents, my smile growing broader and my heart growing larger by the thought of all the gifts I’m given each day by people, many of whom don’t know my name yet love on me just the same. If I couldn’t do much else, I could at least let them know that their lives make a positive difference in mine, and I am grateful. I vowed in that moment to go back to the store where I found it, buy up every such ornament they had, and then start handing them out left and right, as fast as I could, in response.

Unfortunately, I waited too long. December is synonymous with busyness, and it was a week or two before I could get back to that particular place of business. When I did finally walk through the door, it was to find that they had sold out of that particular item. They still had other word ornaments for sale, but somehow “chuckle”, “frosty” and “hoho” just didn’t say what I wanted to convey.

The opportunity to bless those people that way was lost, but a lesson remained. Much like Christmas, we, too, are only here for a season and likewise have a limited time in which to express to others what we feel in our hearts. Many times they are words of blessing, but occasionally it’s a word of correction or direction that they need to hear. It’s important then that we choose our words carefully and see that the opportunity to speak them isn’t lost in the shuffle or sold out to the busyness of life.

My idea of gifting people with a word ornament was not an original idea. So many Christmases ago, God gave us not just any word, but the Word…the only One that could truly make a difference in our lives…one Who was born to be hung on a tree for our sins, that through His actions we might all get safely Home. And now He looks to us to give that Word away to all who will receive it.

Our time here will pass but our words will last. Say what you need to say. Do it today.

“But I would strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, and the consolation of my lips would soothe your suffering.”
(Job 16:5 AMP)

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