18 06 2010


Isn’t that a great word? It has a green feel to it. Just saying it makes me think of that moment after the rain has stopped and the sun shows its face; the grass and leaves are lacquered and there is that smell of the earth in the air: nourished.

Read Proverbs 10:21 (NIV) this morning:

“The lips of the righteous nourish many…”

Isn’t it amazing what a word can do?

  • One word inspires; one word deflates.
  • One word cries; one infuriates.
  • One word enlightens and one confuses.
  • One word rescues; one abuses.
  • One word vows; one betrays.
  • One word go’s; one word stays.

(Hey, just wrote a poem)

The word “nourishes” in the original Hebrew has a rainbow of meanings: shepherds, feeds, cares, becomes a companion for, brings one to pasture and aren’t those all amazing things that one person can do for another?

  • A word can shepherd or guide a person.
  • A word can be like food to the hungry.
  • A word becomes care for the lonely.
  • Words between two people spell companionship.
  • Words guide people to healthier, sweeter places.
  • Words change lives.

Every day I have this power to nourish. Out of my mouth I can say something that goes right to the heart of another.

Now I feel so sad; how many words have I wasted? How many words have I misused? How many opportunities have I let slide by?

Every day I can be kind. Every day I can wish a complete stranger well. Every day I can say something powerful to my kids. Every day my words can be a rainfall to someone and by that one simple act I could pour life into their wilting spirit.

You want to talk about power? What power God has given to us to impact “MANY” with one tiny little tool; one thing we all have; one thing we don’t need any training for, any education, any experience, any permission, any appointment. Honestly, it’s like walking around with bags of money that I can give away; and I never run out.

I, the giver, never become poor.

— Teresa Klassen


I Choked

15 04 2010

This may or may not have happened but I am imagining someone coming up to Jesus and asking, “Jesus, in two words or less, could you describe what trips most people up?” Without a moment’s hesitation Jesus summarizes: “Life’s worries.” Later he expands on this, describing His loving message as seed to be planted in human hearts: “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries…”(Luke 8:14)

I am 42 years old and have known Jesus as long as I have known anything, but at times I still choke. And He’s right: it is all due to life’s worries. Certain circumstances still flatten me. Certain words leave me completely deflated.  The right thing at the wrong time will wipe me out. I don’t want to choke. Jesus goes on to say that hearts in the right place retain what they know and persevere. I like the word persevere, you know, not losing sight of something in spite of difficulties, opposition and discouragement. The problem is, some days I forget everything I know.

Why? Why do I forget? Looking back, I can see that there were times when something worrisome caught me in an unguarded moment (didn’t see that coming!). Sometimes it was the 4th thing and I was already raw (aren’t worries supposed to come in three’s?). Sometimes I was feeling really disconnected from community (where are you, my friend?). Sometimes I was feeling really disconnected from God (“Teresa is temporarily away from her desk…”). Sometimes I was just Peter, through and through, so full of doubt that I could not handle even the thought of that particular worry (sinking, sinking).

Sometimes I do choke on a worry and I forget what I know momentarily. The best way I can describe it is like Jet-lag.

Jet-lag does something to me. When I come back from a trip, some breaker has to reset.  When we came back from Japan one year, I could not remember how to fill my car with gas. I knew the mechanics, I just couldn’t remember the order. This year, recovering from jet-lag, I could not remember the PIN to my Visa card.  Could not!  I know how to fill my car with gas, I know my PIN…what is with that? It is like I have hit my head on the roof of the plane and my little brain is injured.

You can sustain an injury through Life’s Worries but, like I said yesterday, it’s OK. You will return to what you know. And that is how it has been for me thus far.  I have always returned to what I know.

Do you remember that scene in “Something’s Gotta Give” where Diane Keaton, having put her heart on the line only to have it stepped on, goes into this wild period of grieving?  It is actually really funny, but I can relate. Sometimes a worry just get’s me between the ribs and I really grieve. Then, just like Keaton’s character, I suddenly start remembering who I am and what I love and the things that matter. For me, I remember God and I remember His promises and I start feeling His guidance again.  Something dislodges and I realize I haven’t choked to death.

There is a side to me that fears the Big Whopper Worry; how will I handle that?  I am trying to be a good observer, these days. I am watching people who are walking through The Big One and seeing how they are handling it.  You learn something by what they do right, and by where they are faltering; I try to do this without judgement because what would I do? And would I really?

Everything is a teacher.

— Teresa Klassen

Afterword: Someone wise said to us one time, “When you are walking through a problem, ask yourself, ‘Is this going to take 24 hours to resolve? 48 hours? 72 hours? Putting a time frame on it gives you realistic expectations; it also gives you a goal; it also keeps you from stewing in the problem too long.'” That’s a keeper. Thanks Vern Heidebrecht.

After-Afterword: Sent to me via Twitter  — “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods-C.S.Lewis”