Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Power of a Word

“You went through hell!”  ~  the counselor’s response after we shared our engagement story with him.
“If I can help you with your pain …”  ~  one friend to another.
“What do you need me to do?”  ~  a sister’s question knowing the frustration of her twin.

The words in italics opened doors of healing ~ for us and for our friends. They are words that identify with the emotions – not the facts of the story – of the one in need. 

I remember well sitting in the counselor’s office over ten years ago. It was our first day with him. He was getting to know us and we were getting to know him. I was a bit skeptical to say the least. We weren’t there to deal with our engagement scenario which was thirty years in the past at this point; or even for marriage counseling, our engagement was just part of our story ~ a part that is totally healed, or so I thought. 

I was shocked by our counselor’s response. Hell is a swear word that I grew up hearing; it isn’t used by my Christian friends. At least until that day. But something happened when he used that word. I stopped. I melted. He touched a deep part of me that had never been touched. He was right! Even though all the factual hurt of that time is healed, no-one had ever spoken to the emotion. Identifying the truth of the emotion opened the door for in depth fellowship and additional healing that I didn’t even know was needed. 

I’m learning to respond to the emotions that I hear when my friends share their hurts. It is unlocking doors in our friendships and allowing me to love them. It is often just one word that ignites the process. 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11

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