I know it hasn’t happened very often, but there have been a few times in my life when I have been rendered absolutely speechless. As in totally mute. As in I can’t say a word. (I know some of you are rolling your eyes now. Stop, please!) Granted, I realize that on the rare occasion that I have nothing to say, it becomes a noteworthy event. I’ve seen my husband, dear heart that he is, even jot down the date and the time of my mute state for future reference.
My poor husband! He has observed most of my speechless moments. I was struck dumb when, on the second time I met his mother, she told me she was glad to finally meet me because she had been praying for me since the day her son was born. She knew I was the one he would marry, and she was glad to meet the woman for whom she had been praying for twenty years. My humility and amazement rendered me speechless. All this made my not-yet-husband laugh at my embarrassment.
Then there was the time he finally got around to asking me to be his wife. He was so cute and romantic about it, that all I could do was stare at him. I had no words. With more than a little nervousness, he said, “Verna, now is not the time to be quiet!” Fortunately, I was able to dig deep into my extensive vocabulary and mutter, “Y-y-yes.” He laughed when I was finally able to choke out my answer.
My husband has also witnessed my speechless behavior when I first held each of our two children, and then later, our four grandchildren. He didn’t laugh at me then, for he was just as speechless as I was. I was at a loss for words when he was re-diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemo therapy for the second time in eight years. I was equally at a loss for words when following the last of his treatments we were able to celebrate his victorious recovery along the shores of Maui while watching the whales spouting water and flapping their tails at us. And just last week, we were both rendered speechless at the majesty of a sunset.
The Apostle Paul knew we might have speechless moments, for he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Oh, dear ones, we should always be speaking about Jesus. We should always be ready, no matter what the circumstances, for our words to bear witness to Jesus’ love for us, for His sacrifice for us. Our words should patiently instruct, teach, and encourage others. Always. We should never have speechless moments when the opportunity comes to speak about Jesus, no matter to whom or when or how. (If you know enough to accept Jesus, you know enough to share Jesus.)
Be prepared. At some point on some day, either today, tomorrow, next week, or next year, someone somewhere is going to ask you about Jesus. That will not be the moment to be quiet.
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at Vrdspeaks@gmail.com.