We live in a world where there are many words, but there are times when words are not enough. Such was the case when a funeral service was conducted for a 37 year old woman who died while her husband, children, and parents still lived. Her death was not related to the Covid 19 virus. How does one explain that kind of death? A family member stood to speak but was able to mutter only a few words. He was overcome with emotion. In that setting what would you have said? There are times when words are not enough. There are even times when God didn’t speak the Word – when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. When words were not enough, God became the Word. He became the touch which is what God did through Jesus Christ. Sometimes words are not enough.
That was the case with me when I received word from one of his layman that, when his minister did not show up for worship, he went to the parsonage and found him slumped over a chair having committed suicide. The young minister was a 32 year old man who two weeks earlier had met with his fiance and me to discuss their upcoming marriage. When the death occurred, she was 500 miles away and not able to be at his side. I knew I had to talk with her as quickly as possible. I also knew that words alone would not do. So before making the call I prayed and asked God for direction. What she needed at that time was not theology, but the assurance of a presence. I found myself saying “I wish I could be with you right now. I know how much you are hurting and until we can get together I am hugging you over the phone.”
Sometimes we need more than words. We need action to make our love real, even more so through this pandemic when we have to maintain social distance from one another. We miss sharing hugs with our family and friends and we wait impatiently for the time we can be close again. For now we reach out to others with our words and faith that Christ will make our words flesh. This is what God does for us and what we must do for others.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Author: Dabney Walters.
Retired – Served 8 parishes including twice as District Superintendent.