Through the years, a handful of people have influenced me in such a dramatic way that their words still shape who I am and what I have become. Al Ware was one of the few who invested in me by showing up at the right place at just the right time with "just the right word."
It was his genuine transparency that attracted me to him and somehow God's Spirit pushed him my direction. He asked me to help him; then, before I knew I needed help, he helped me.
His family became my family. I learned to heed and cherish his words. But more crucial than his words of wisdom were the times when he blessed me with his confidence in me. On three different occasions he said, "Ron, you're going to be OK; you're going to do great."
Each time he said those words I was struggling with doubt and uncertainty. It was as though his confidence poured out into my heart and replaced my discouragement. Whether I did great or not, he believed in me. I desperately wanted to live up to what he saw in me.
I have been blessed by many, but none have given me confidence like Al. He is no longer with us on this planet; his time here was completed years ago, but his words and confidence in me still live in my heart.
In him, I saw faith alive and real. Through him, God touched me and called me to touch others. Thank you, Al, for showing me the way.
I love the "CSI NY" TV series. A few weeks ago the following dialogue took place near the end of the program. Mac, the lead investigator, and Ella, a needy, lonely person who tried to end her life, locked in a halfway house.
She called Mac crying for help ... no one seemed to be listening. Then, Mac shows up at the door:
Ella: I didn't think you'd come.
Mac: I had the time.
Ella: Somehow I don't believe that. I get out in a few days.
Mac: You know where you're going to go?
Ella: I've been trying to get in touch with a few friends and see if I can crash with them for a while and get a job, get an apartment and start over ... You don't think I'm ready?
Mac: No, No, I was just thinking of a friend of mine, Mitchell Davis. When we were kids his brother died in a skating accident and the last thing that Mitchell said to him was, "You're going to be OK!" And then he left him wobbling on the blades of his skates. He knew he could do it and he wanted him to stand on his own two feet. And then the ice broke and Randy went down and died. Mitchell stayed away from school for a long time after that. When he finally came back, nobody really knew what to say to him. "I'm sorry" just didn't seem to be enough, and I don't know why I said it or where the words came from, but I looked at him and said, "You're going to be OK, Mitchell." Then he smiled and then he started crying and we both were crying and I found out a few weeks later that those were the first tears that he'd shed ... You're going to be OK, Ella ... and if you ever need anything; if you ever have doubts ...
Ella: If I should feel a bit wobbly?
Mac: Yeah, you call me, OK?I pray that you will become a people-shaper!Ella: OK
Say the words, "You're going to be OK."
I know, they are simple and empty without your presence, but with your presence, with your undivided attention, with your faith in God and his power in life, those words are miraculous.
My prayer this week is that God will put you in a friend's life, that he gives you just the right moment and that you will open your mouth and say those words of faith, those miracle words that give confidence and certainty to another.
I pray that you will become a people-shaper, a blessing-giver, a giver of miracles.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29 TNIV).