The Right Words
A good friend of mine was recently checking out at Kroger. (Honestly, I feel like I am always at the grocery!) Her cashier was talking to another employee about Fifty Shades Darker. Both teenagers, the one was remarking how she had just watched it with her mother. (Yikes!) They then turned the conversation on my friend and asked her, “Have you seen the movie?” Completely taken aback, Jenni didn’t have anything else to say in the moment but no. Pressed further and told that, “She really should go see it,” Jenni said again she wasn’t interested.
As she was recounting the story to me she mentioned how she wished she had said something more to these young women, but didn’t have the words in the moment. We have all been there.
It is so difficult for me in the moment to have the right words. Words to make someone stop and think, if just for a moment, and challenge them to reconsider their distorted view of the world. I desire greatly to be a witness for Christ and my faith. I strive to learn and grow in my faith to better serve Him, but I still fall short and words elude me.
Therein lies the problem, I FALL SHORT. Of course I fall short! I must rely in those moments on the Holy Spirit and trust that the words that come, whatever they are, will plant a small seed that only God can continue to nurture. Just internally saying a quick, “Come Holy Spirit,” and then continuing to carry on the conversation is what I am called to do.
My husband was talking with the kids this past weekend about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit we find in Scripture; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. (Fear of the Lord is more about amazement of God’s greatness than feeling like a mouse in front of a lion.) These are so worth reflecting on. When we do, we can clearly see why we need to seek to open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit.
This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. This is an important day for the Church. The Apostles who are all in the Upper Room terrified, are going to become men of courage who will eventually die as martyrs for love of Christ. (Well, not St. John, but he had a hard life too!) What is the difference? The Holy Spirit!
A friend of mine likes to say he tries to not, “Get in the way of the Lord’s work.” It is so true. We must say to God, “I am an imperfect tool, but I give my life to You and trust You can make up for any shortcomings I may have.” In so doing, we are set free. We can say as St. Paul to the Galatians, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Jenni did more than she knows simply by saying she hadn’t watched the movie, and didn’t intend to. Even that was a witness. However, let us open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and ask for those gifts that God desires to pour out upon us. He wants to fill our heart with His grace, but we must ask and have a heart able to receive them. A contrite and humble heart that knows our own sinfulness and limitations, but trusts completely in God’s forgiveness and mercy. When we speak let it be Christ who speaks through us. JMJ
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.