Do you mark a novel all up as you read it? I do. Some of the books I read look like textbooks when I'm done. Underlined. Circled. Page corners turned down. Nothing's sacred. Everything is fodder for learning, for remembering, for being WOW'd by words.
Here are some recent favorite sentences I've underlined in books I've read in the past couple of weeks:
(Devil in the White City by Erik Larson)
You want to do good. You want your life to matter. You want to live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.
(Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado)
Now that the sun was setting in a welter of crimson behind the hills across the Flint River, the warmth of the April day was ebbing into a faint but balmy chill.
(Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell)
The greatest evil tips its face toward light with shining innocence.
(Deceit by Brandilyn Collins)
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
(Bible, Psalm 141:3, written by God especially for me, I have no doubt)
Words are powerful. We all know this. Because each of us has words we wish we could take back (hence, the scripture above, one of my "favorites"). And likewise, we all have words we wish we could go back and speak.
Yesterday, I saw one of our worship leaders in a little coffee shop where Dad and I had stopped in to eat lunch. As Dad and I left, I felt a prompting inside to go up and tell Carl how much I appreciate what he and his wife do. Not just for our church as a whole, which is certainly a blessing. But for me. For my personal worship.
But, I didn't.
He was in conversation with the guy he was with and I didn't want to bother them. Besides, he doesn't know me from Adam. Or well, Eve. But as soon as I left the coffee shop, even before I was out the door, I felt a tiny sense of loss. Of an opportunity passed.
Then later yesterday afternoon (don't you love how the Holy Spirit works), I mentioned to my daughter Kelsey that I saw Carl at the coffee shop, yada, yada... And she said, "So you didn't say anything to him?" Go ahead, dear daughter, twist that knife.
Now, is my opportunity to thank him lost forever? No. I can send him an email today or catch him Sunday and let him know. But that moment is lost. Looking back, when I let that moment pass, I'm convinced that I quenched the Spirit. The Spirit was prompting me, and I said..."Huh uh." And I'm determined not to do that again. Because words are so important. Especially those of edification, of "building up the body of Christ."
Be watching for someone today who needs "a word." Someone God will put directly into your path for you to encourage, for you to be Jesus to. It may be in a big way. More than likely, it'll be in a small way. In a way that you might be tempted to let pass. Please don't.
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(R to L): Saundra, Pam, Tammy, Megan, Merry, Carol
Thanks to Megan Gaddis and the gals of Burkitt Place in Nolensville for inviting me to join their book club meeting last night. We were going to Skype each other (for a virtual book club meeting) until I realized they were only 5.6 miles down the road! I hopped in the car and and joined them instead, and we laughed and had such a fun time. Thanks, gals, for reading Rekindled and for being such an encouragement! Glad our eternity together started here!