Maneuvering the hallway lined with perfectly polished women, I keep my eyes downcast. Grasping my welcome bag and holding back tears, I rush into my hiding place: the ladies restroom. Why am I here? I must be crazy. Dabbing at my eyes, I catch my reflection in the mirror. Good grief! Look at me! My yard-sale find, a brown sweater, stares back at me reinforcing my unworthiness. As the tears begin again, I know only two things : I do not have enough tissues and I do not belong here.
Attending a women’s conference in Charlotte, North Carolina seemed like a good idea six months ago. Now, I am questioning my sanity and decision-making ability as I sink deeper into yard-sale-girl-crying-in-the-bathroom-alone. Staying here will only keep me locked in this dark and sad place feeding on the enemy’s lies. Another woman, not wearing a yard-sale sweater, will eventually need to use the restroom. Leaving my make-shift sanctuary is my only viable option.
Trying to re-establish my composure, I realize I need to do something, anything. A comfortable and familiar activity pops into my mind: eating! Yes, I will find something to eat. After making several wrong turns in the massive conference center, the lunch buffet for attendees comes into view. Choosing a table away from the chattering crowd, I engage my cloaking device for invisibility. By burying my head in the thick conference notebook, I play invisible. However, I am thankful my soda glass is not hidden as the kind staff continually fills it to the brim. But then…
One word. Just one word causes me to lift my head.
One word and I reach out to grab God’s life-line.
One word and I am looking into the eyes of a lady who is also searching and alone.
My new friend takes the seat across from me and begins chatting away in a lovely southern drawl. We easily slip and slide into each other’s life. We share. We laugh. We cry. We contemplate dessert choices and decide to get both.
One word. With one word, I am no longer alone. With one word, I gain a lunch partner, a conference buddy, and a new friend.
My friend was brave to offer me one word; I want to be brave and offer one words freely to others. A simple one word like Hello. But maybe those who cross my daily path need to hear the one word, Thanks, more generously. My family needs to hear more often the healing one word, Sorry.
It is amazing how much meaning and power there is behind one word. But the greatest and most disarming one word of all is the name of Jesus. I want to be brave to offer ‘Jesus’ to someone who needs to hear this saving one word. I need to offer it to those outside of my church, small group, and safe places. Maybe someone you know needs to hear the most important one word, Jesus.
By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear. Isaiah 45:23 NIV
Only one word will cause others to lift their heads.
Only one word will offer a life-line to someone who desperately needs it.
Let’s Walk Worthy!