My granddaughter, Audrey Love, taught me a great communication skill. You point one finger up towards the person who is talking to encourage them to pause. What finger? The pointer finger, of course, while at the same time making a serious face and saying the words, “Just a minute!”
This is Audrey’s way of politely shushing her Nana. We laugh together when one of chooses to use the finger signal to call for a pause.
My husband and I decided to pass this technique on. We taught one couple to use this signal instead of interrupting each other. It worked great.
Taking a pause has become my theme song. I give my surrendered “yes” to Jesus by give Him all my time, talent and treasure. Rushing around, as they say, “like a chicken with its head cut off” has never been my style. It is just not ladylike. I try to leave a margin of time in case something suddenly happens, so I am available for God’s purposes. This helps me to live peacefully.
Peace on the inside is a barometer for me. I read about one saint who if she lost her peace she would pause what she was doing, even if she was in mid-sentence. What a discipline from the fruit of self-control: pausing.
Why pause? This world is full of people who are hurting and do not know who to turn to. Many others have wondered far away from Jesus and do not know where to go for help with their sin-stained souls. Many people are too busy to care. Sometimes even God’s people. They are rushing about and hurrying through life like a Martha fixing a feast by cutting off the heads of the chickens.
God is looking for people who are willing to take a pause, in mid-sentence if need be. When I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to help another, it has borne great fruit. These God appointments have built my faith.
He knows that people need people who are ever ready to send His healing love. But whom can He send? Can He call upon you to take a pause for His sake? Whom shall He send? We are the arms of Christ. Do you have a minute to spare?
Many times people only need a minute of our time. If we take a pause and listen for the voice of the Shepherd, He will guide us and use us to mend the hearts of His hurting people. He will give us the words to say, and impress on our hearts just what to do.
How many of us put our finger signal up to our Heavenly Father and say without words, “Just a minute”? How many unintentionally turn a deaf ear to God’s voice on our hearts?
Hurting people need a healing touch, a kind word and attentive soul to show them someone cares about them. Now is the time for those who are willing to give Jesus their time, talent, and treasure. Let Him use you to heal His broken people.
Deacon Pat, my husband, is often asked to bring the Eucharist to a parishioner in the hospital and I am delighted to tag along. It is always a God appointment.
One Sunday we found ourselves visiting a sweet, lively senior who had just had a knee replacement. She was glad to see us, but even more overjoyed to greet her friend Jesus. After receiving the Body of Christ, she said with tears in her eyes, “This is very hard. I am a daily communicant. Can someone bring me the Eucharist daily?” Her love for our Savior was evident. It was evident that not being able to receive Jesus at Mass was a greater sacrifice than the pain of her surgery. I so understood!
I was glad we took the pause that day.
I too am a daily communicant — at least, I desire to be. After Mass one weekday I really needed to talk to a priest. I was distraught, so I ran up to Father after Mass and said, “Can you hear my confession?” OK, I begged.
Looking at His watch with a “just a minute” look on his face minus the finger, he replied, “No, I can’t. I have an appointment!”
Devastated, I burst into tears, “Father, I have to talk to you,” I pleaded.
Reluctantly, he said, “I’ll meet you in the confessional in just a minute.”
Waiting patiently, I gave a sigh of relief. It was worth the wait. The wisdom given that day became a word that took residence in my soul for life. I was glad he took the time to pause and be the hands of Christ to me. I needed a Simon that day because my cross was too big to carry alone. What wisdom did Father share that healed my hurting soul? He said, “Either God will take away the cross, or He will give you the grace to bear it.”
God uses a willing servant to be His mouthpiece when “just a minute” will not do. Be open to hear God’s voice and do what He asks you to do. God may be asking you, “Can you give me just a minute of your time?” You will be glad you paused for that minute. It could be the most important minute of your day. It could be the most important minute for the person that God sends into your life.
Whatever you do, do not point your finger at God, put a serious look on your face, and say, “Just a minute!”
Copyright 2018 Ellen Mongan