Carol Cartmill serves as the Executive Director of Adult Discipleship at The Church of the Resurrection.
Words can be powerful. Our congregation learned how powerful this past year in a sermon series Adam Hamilton preached entitled The Power of Words. If you need a refresher, click here to watch these messages again. There are some situations, however, where words fail us – times when they seem completely inadequate. That is precisely where our actions can speak for us. Let me share two scenarios where I have found this to be true.
Have you ever felt your heart breaking for someone else who is experiencing a deep loss? That is one of the times words escape me. No matter how much my own heart hurts for the other person, I am not in his or her shoes. I cannot know the depth of what that person is feeling. So what do we do? We speak with our presence.
Last fall, a member of our small group became seriously ill and died unexpectedly. During his brief hospital stay, members of the group simply showed up. We prayed with the family, brought Stroud’s chicken for lunch, made phone calls, and sat in a waiting room down the hallway so we could be on hand to help, while giving the family space to spend sacred, intimate time with their loved one. It’s been my experience that questions like, “Can I do anything to help?” often fall flat. When someone is in pain, they don’t know how to answer. A hug, a meal, any practical assistance we bring speaks volumes.
Serving in mission in a foreign culture is another opportunity to allow our actions to speak for us. Language differences create a barrier to spoken communication. Holding a Malawian child, providing medical treatment to a Haitian, building a wall next to a Honduran, or planting crops with a Jamaican communicates the love of Christ in ways that transcend words. And locally, we can say we want to see Kansas City transformed, or we can do something to promote justice and mercy.
You can do something this weekend. Fill a bag for the Souper Bowl Food Drive and bring it with you to worship. Let’s all let our actions speak!
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.