Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6  Message Bible

Writing is a form of cowardice for me. I put my words on paper (or a blog) at home by myself, sheltered from human contact. If I had to stand up in front of people and verbalize what I write, I probably wouldn’t say much at all.

This past week I had several in-depth conversations with themes that ranged from concerning to maddening to intense to encouraging. In each one I had the thought…”What do I say?” In one such conversation with a friend with whom I shared a similar experience, I stated that just by virtue of speaking up (her) instead of staying silent (me) she handled things in a much better way.

I agonize over my words to the point of obsession.

This is no problem to Jesus, who literally is The Word. He loves speaking and communicating. He is never at a loss of what to say.

He is waiting for us to speak up, to open our mouths, “to let the words fall out.” I believe He especially waits for us to speak up with those chance encounters we have every day, with people we know either very little or not at all. I would liken this kind of exchange to riding a roller coaster or handling tarantulas, which I refuse to do for fear of my life.

Recently however I have on occasion stepped on my fear on the way to bless some stranger with my words. And, though my stomach flip-flops, I have survived each time. Sometimes I say the first sentence and wait for the Holy Spirit to fill in the rest of the conversation. Those first words are the hardest for me; I choke on them too often. The sweet thing is that once words of blessing are out, they take on a life of their own.

In the words of the prophet Sara Bareilles, Jesus would say “Church, I wanna see you be brave!”

BTW…the dancers in this video were placed in locations sans music where the cameras were hidden (aside from the passers-by with smart phones) from the bemused onlookers. Very brave!



  1. Ok, Jen, I’m gonna be brave! Loved your thoughts and loved the song, both inspire me to be brave tonight at John’s partners’ dinner. When can we get together to celebrate your very belated Sept. birthday? Love, love, LOVE you! Norma

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