Thursday, June 19, 2008

Increase Your Vocabulary

I would like to share with you another snippet from "Dangerous Wonder."

Little children don't have a large vocabulary.. of words, but their vocabulary outside of words is massive. It's not limited to but includes hugs, winks, tears, squeezes, laughter, screaming, jumping, hopping, skipping, dancing, and silence. When you and I decide to be childlike, let's remember the vocabulary of children.

An elderly friend of mine went to the hospital to be with one of his children who was dying of cancer. During those last few days with his son, my friend was continually interrupted by well-meaning Christian friends who came by to offer advice, help, prayers, tapes, books, and encouragement. Even though he knew everyone was trying to be helpful, the old man could hardly wait for the people to leave. Then one evening, late, a fifty-year-old construction worker walked into the room. His son had been killed in a tragic car accident the year before. He slid a chair next to my friend, reached out, grabbed his hand, and said nothing. My friend told me he never wanted this man to leave. His silence was healing, strengthening, encouraging, understanding, and ... enough! The construction worker understood the language of children. He knew what his friend needed: no words.


It was our eldest boy's wedding, and he asked his younger brother to be best man. One of the roles of the best man is to give a toast to the new groom at the wedding reception, and Trent had taken a great deal of time to craft a toast that would honor their friendship and their love for each other. At the reception, when his time came, Trent stepped up to the microphone to begin his tribute to his brother.

The tribute never happened; that is, the verbal tribute.

Each time Trent would try to say his prepared words, they would stick in his throat and he would be overwhelmed by emotion. There was a long period of silence accompanied by the constant flowing of tears from Trent's eyes. Finally, after many frustrated attempts, Trent raised his glass and said, "To my brother!"

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