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Words of Worth

To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God.—LUKE 8:10 (RSV)

“Uncle John, will you please autograph my book?” my niece Stephanie asked of my husband.

John reached for the book. It was a memoir I’d written some years before that told the story of our work on the farm. Although I was the author, much of the content sprang from John’s eloquently expressed ideas about caring for soil, plants, and livestock.

Illness had since taken many of John’s spoken words along with his ability to write. I watched as he scribbled painstakingly on the page. Then he handed me the open book and asked, “What does that say?”

His pen had left nothing but a squiggly line. It was a moment like so many others lately where I was left struggling for the right response to his efforts. At last I replied, “I don’t know, dear. But it’s wonderful!”

John gazed at me almost pleadingly for understanding. “But we lived it!” he said.

What could I possibly add to that? I knew that my husband’s squiggled line said as much or more than any well-turned phrase I might have written. The moment taught me to look for and affirm the hidden worth in others’ words whose meaning at first glance is hard to understand.

Lord, help me to respect and honor those words of others that seem to have no meaning. Help me to understand what you might be saying through them.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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