“Thank you for looking at the world the way you do and sharing it with all of us.”
It was a simple compliment. One sentence that could have been written almost thoughtlessly, I’ll never know. But one person taking the time to call out beauty in another always has the possibility of a ripple effect. Words are never just words.
For me it was recognizing that I might possibly see the world differently than others, that putting words to the seeing might possibly be unique, that being brave enough to share those meager thoughts, turned into words, with the rest of the world, might possibly be the gift God had given me to use.
Because it all seems so simple, to me. Seeing, thinking, writing. Sure sharing is scary sometimes, but that is because I view my gifts as simple. We tend to always view them as simple, when they’re ours.
Do you get that? Do you minimize your gifts, hardly notice them or see them, question if they even really do exist?
I have wished, more often than I care to admit, that God had a pick-a-gift program. Something like the bees in The Bee Movie, might be nice. Whenever he deemed we were ready we could just watch the reader boarder of open assignments, or gifts in this case, and sign ourselves right up.
I think I’d choose to sing. I’m amazed at people who open their mouths and effortlessly belt out something glorious. It’s quite clear that I missed the signups for that gifting.
Last year I spoke at a women’s retreat and I crafted the follow up questions to encourage women to be brave enough to share their gifts, to own them. As I sat and listened in on one of the discussion groups I was in awe.
“I don’t really know what my gifts are”.
The response was common. Women who create beautiful crafts, cook wonderful meals, host friends graciously, women who are brave and courageous mothers and wives, had no idea what their gifts might be.
And I have a feeling that their blindness is not unique.
Sometimes we hardly even notice the things that are unique to us. And how can we water flowers we never even see?
We cannot cultivate, fertilize or grow the gifts we do not see. But we have the unique opportunity to speak life to each other’s gifts.
As friends and sisters, as mothers and daughters, wives and worshipers we have the incredible ability to speak life to one another. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue, in our very words, friends.
We have the opportunity to speak life into our marriages to fill our husbands with confidence and courage.
We have the ability to give utterance to gifts and talents that our friends are straight up blind to; our words can give life to their dusty passions.
Our family, our children, are growing seeds of enormous offering that they will never even know exist if we don’t help them, emboldening them with our words.
What I love most is that it costs us nothing. We all suffer from periods (lifetimes?) of blindness in noticing the very blessing God has uniquely poured into us, but helping someone peel off the scales, pull back the blinders, costs nothing more than our brave words.
How often do we think it and not say it? We notice tiny sparks of greatness but it never escapes our lips. There is a place for us to hold our tongue, friends, but this is not it. Spread courage with your words. You might be the very confirmation, the very God given word of courage, someone needs to hear today.
Speak life, bravely.
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