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"ALL" I COULD DO WAS LISTEN AND TALK


The author Stephen W. Sorenson wrote in Discipleship Journal:


For two years, because of severe tendinitis in both wrists, I could not pick up my young daughter, carry a log, or even open a twist-off pop bottle. To make matters worse, my wife and I, with help from family and friends, were building a major addition to our home when the tendinitis developed, so I couldn’t even use a hammer. I wondered whether I would ever regain full use of my hands.

But, our remodeling went on. We installed a second-story window on one blustering evening with the help of some Christian friends and a man named Willy, a retired military musician.


Afterward, before the window crew began eating dinner, I prayed a simple prayer. Willy listened carefully and watched how the rest of us interacted. Later, as he was leaving, he said, "People don’t help each other like this anymore."


I replied, "Sure they do!"


Willy came back to our house, day after day. He dug up our septic tank, cut diseased trees, and simply spent time with us. I sensed he understood my pain and our need. One afternoon as we walked and talked in the woods, I discovered why.


For most of his life, Willy had lived for his music, but a devastating ear problem developed, preventing him from listening to music of any kind. As a result, rather than being put off by my injury, Willy was drawn to me because of our common ground. And before we went separate ways, Willy became a Christian.


As I look back, I don’t know if I would have taken time to talk with Willy had my wrists been well. Most likely I’d have been hammering nails or running a chain saw. So "all" I could do was listen and talk. But in God’s plan, that was enough.


(Larson, Craig Brian & Leadership Journal, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers, Baker: Grand Rapids, 1993. Pg.483)

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