Word Gifts

Peggy Byland

Read: Proverbs 16:20-24

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (v. 24)

Behind the Manse, a large historic home in DeTour, Michigan, two or three wild apple trees bear ample fruit in the fall; enough to feed a flock of Canada geese and the man in the blue truck who stopped by early mornings to rake his share of the crop. The geese were easily deterred from apple pecking when Isa bounded out the back door. With a large vacant lot neighboring the Manse, it made for quick geese takeoffs spurred on by the sharp barking of a little white dog on their tails.

The man in the blue truck, however, was a mystery. The apples would cover the ground in the evening, but by the time I would awaken, they would be gone, the ground devoid of all but a few remains (geese-chomped or past their due date). One morning, the man in the blue truck was late. Isa and I were having breakfast at the picnic table when the truck drove up and a man ambled out of the truck cab. What ensued was a delightful conversation.

I believe God puts people in our paths for a purpose. Often it is the spontaneous, face-to-face encounters that enrich us the most. Some conversations are difficult, some tearful, some meant for instruction, some full of joy and laughter. I never imagine Jesus engaging in meaningless chatter; neither do we when our words are gifts from God. —Peggy Byland

As you pray, ask God to remind you to listen when he sends the gift of people who want to talk.