Without Words


As we begin a new year and many people think about improvements they would like to make or changes that need to be established in life, I want to encourage us all to look away from the mirror. Yes, I do realize that self-awareness is the beginning place for recognizing the areas we need to change. It seems that so often we are stuck staring into the mirror and focusing on ourselves. We all do it.

In the after-Christmas season we find ourselves with a bit of the blues. The gifts have all been purchased, exchanged, put away … now we have to pay for them. The parties and decorations and searching for gifts that has occupied us for the past two months is now over. Many people during this time begin to be more introspective. For some a wintertime depression waits at the door.

We need a reminder that one of the keys to true happiness in life is to serve someone else. They are blessed, but we gain the benefit of knowing we did something meaningful for someone else.  Gratitude is shared and begins to infiltrate the dark winter thoughts that come so unexpectedly.

I want to share with you a story from my friends Cecil and Patti May in Fulton, Kentucky. Cecil preaches for the Parkway Church of Christ. His wife, Patti, shared this and I wanted to pass it along. She writes:

My husband, Cecil, told me this story tonight. “When people become too fragile to stay in the retirement village where friend Terry Taylor and I do our weekly devo, they have to go to a nursing home. So Terry and I planned to go to a nursing home today where many of them are. The home in Martin (TN) has a special area designated for those who need constant care. We knew two people back there that we got buzzed in to visit. Then we saw a third person we were unaware was there. Flaustine. We went to where she sat. When we got her attention, she held out one hand to Terry and one to me. We each took a hand. She could not speak. She started to stand up using our hands that she held as leverage. We told her to keep her seat, but she determinedly got to a standing position still holding our hands. I was kind of worried about what she would try to do or where she would try to go. What she did was to pull my hand to her face so that she could kiss my hand. Then she kissed Terry’s hand. She could not speak to us, but we know she appreciated our visit.” This story is so sweet. It reminds me of the Bible verse that says how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Or in this case – hands.

Without words the love of Christ was glowing in that dark place. The radiant beauty of His presence brightened the heart of one who is trapped in silence. Even more, it warmed the hearts of those who came to serve, but received a blessing instead. It reminds me of the words of the brother of our Lord.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~James 1:27

So as we step into this new year and spend some time looking within, let’s not stay there. Move along…. down the halls of sadness and despair. You don’t have to say much. Yesterday I visited an elderly sister in the hospital who has been so sick for so long. I told her that we pray for her at our church very often. A tear rolled down her face to her pillow as she said, ‘that means so very much to me.’ I struggled to find something to say. Sometimes there isn’t anything to say.

Without a word, or at least without many words, express the love of Christ to someone today. Let’s resolve to make that a new habit this year.

Thanks for reading,


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