Words of Hope: Absent-Minded Wisdom
I was traveling through the Denver airport recently when I noticed I was drinking from a bottle that wasn’t mine. Someone else had left a half-open water bottle near me, and somehow, I had mistakenly started drinking from it—something my Dad would have done. As Shann pointed out, we are probably the only two people in an entire airport who would mistakenly drink from someone else’s discarded water bottle.
It is terrible not to pay attention, to miss what we should quickly notice, hear, or remember.
Though Dad may have absentmindedly picked up water bottles that were not his, he was keenly attuned to the dynamics in thorny relational situations. He was skilled at noticing the unspoken cues and helping move a conversation out of trouble and into health.
He did this by staying curious and asking questions. He gathered information from a variety of angles and sources. One skill he had was only to advise on an invitation rather than a lecture. I had to ask him for his insight. He didn’t force his opinion on me. He would say, “Would you like my opinion on this topic?” Or he would remain silent until I invited him to share his perspective. This patience made me greatly value what he had to say. However, even though I may have picked up some of my Dad’s situational absentmindedness. More importantly, I have received his wisdom and insight into life’s deeper and more profound challenges.
“Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.” – Psalm 107:43