Sunday, October 26, 2008

If I had a Soap Box

If I had the opportunity to stand on a soap box and speak...I would talk about the importance of life giving language. What is life giving language? Life giving language is language that communicates both encouragement and truth being spoken into someones life.

I work with the homeless. A few years ago, I had a client who come to the shelter after he had been discharged from the hospital. He had drank too much alcohol and became very sick. He had no where to go and was still too sick to be out in the elements. He was in his late sixties, by his appearance you could tell he had lived a difficult life.

When we sat down to do his intake, he begins to tell me a tall tale...I stopped him mid sentence and gently said let's just be real here. We both know you came here via the hospital because you were so ill because you drank too much alcohol yesterday. Then, I said excitedly, but today is a new day and a great day! You are literally at a crossroad in your life - you can return to the street and hope you don't get sick again or you have the opportunity to make a radical change in your life and go somewhere to receive help for your addiction. I said -- society needs you -- you are such a valuable piece and we need you. Please get help today. As I was talking I could tell something had happened...he literally looked ten years younger and he seemed so at peace.

He looked down and quietly said OK. I left the room to make the phone calls to get things set up. When I returned to the room, I let him know he had an appointment at the local treatment center and to go and get his items packed. I then told him I was so happy that he was taking such good care of himself today. He looked at me and thanked me for helping him and then he said in the meekest voice..."thank you for telling me I was valuable."

Please seize every opportunity to speak life giving words...they can radically change the course of someones life.

The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21

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