A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith


The power of our words

posted by Linda G. Howard

In her late 20′s, Mindy pretty face is accented by her vibrant, chatty personality.  She lives alone in her own apartment.  Mindy is a new member of our Special Gathering.  We are a Christian program within the intellectually disabled community. Our mission is evangelizing and discipling the men and women who are developmentally disabled in our towns.

I’ve known Mindy over the years because she lived in a neighboring city; and she is an active part of the mentally challenged community.  Her past boyfriend is also a good friend of mine.  Each Sunday when she comes to our program, she has yet another story to tell about her family.

In Mindy’s tales of woe, she was the hero; and Mama or Grandmother, the villains. Because I provide her ride to our Sunday program, five of us arrive two hours early. And she helps us with our set up.  This means that for weeks, we heard about 2 hours of her tattling.  Her gossip set a negative tone for our meetings.  In the aftermath, it was hard to shake the atmosphere this fault-finding tone set, making worship difficult to enjoy.

One Sunday morning, before I picked her up,  I prayed about the situation. The Lord reminded me of how I would handle a similar activity had this happened when my children were younger.  I would wrap him or her in my arms and pray.  On the first indication of her gossiping tirade, I said, “Mindy, every time you talk about your mom or grandmother or anyone else, I’m going to pray that you will stop talking bad about other people.”

For about five or six weeks, she and I spent more time praying than doing anything else.  I would smile at her, open my arms and say, “Come here, girl.  We need to pray about that.”  She never resisted my embrace or prayer.  Slowly, her stories became fewer and fewer.

Even more, the atmosphere of our program returned to joyful expectation, rather than discouragement and fault finding.

Last week, she said to me, “I’m so proud of my mom.  She is going to start helping my grandma.”  She proceeded with every detail but the story was positive and uplifting.  I was proud of Mindy.  She has started to learn.

As we sat drinking coffee after the building was set up and I listened for the 15th time to how Mother was going to help Grandma, I was grateful for the power of prayer.  Also, I was reminded of the power of our words.  Mindy’s chatter was helping to set a positive expectancy for Special Gathering, rather than a pall of negative thoughts.

Now all I need to figure out is how do I keep her from repeating her stories 57 times.



Previous Posts

When we leak
Recently, I've heard a great deal about the things the Holy Spirit was doing in the 1960's and 1970's.  It is interesting to me because those were days through which we lived.  There were times that it seemed that the Lord was tangible enough to reach out and touch.  Even though I was very young-

posted 10:09:00pm Feb. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Providing a Safe Harbor
One of the most important things a person can provide for any person and especially for a man or woman who is developmentally disabled is a safe harbor–a place where they can securely share their thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Because of their intellectual development, many people within the m

posted 5:54:32pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

The First Points of Light Award
When President George H. W. Bush gave the first Points of Lights Award, it went to a NASA employee named Frank S. Howard who was a volunteer for The Special Gathering of Indian River. The fact that Frank S.

posted 11:17:25am Jul. 15, 2013 | read full post »

Eating fish
We all know that when you eat fish you will usually come across a bone or two no matter how carefully the fish has been filleted.  We also know that the bones aren't digestible and should be spit out.  Fish bones, in fact, can be dangerous; but that fact never kept me from eating and appreciating

posted 6:28:56am Mar. 21, 2013 | read full post »

A history lesson
Over the past months, I've discovered the classics from Sir Walter Scott, James Fenimore Cooper, St. Augustine to Andrew Murray.  Of course, most of these volumes were written in the early 1800's.  Unlocking the labyrinth of historical fact wrapped around the old English prose of that earlier cent

posted 8:37:02pm Mar. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.