Our son, Sam, just entered the smartphone world. He resisted for a long time, much to his entire family’s displeasure. He could not receive our family “group texts” or pictures. It was time to switch. Meanwhile, Wyndham’s phone sat on the windowsill. For part of Sam’s birthday gift, I suggested that he take Wyndham’s phone, keep it on our plan and pay the accompanying monthly charges. This seemed like a good idea, and it was. However, Sam would need a new number, which meant Wyndham’s number would disappear. Forever. All I needed to do to make this change was to go online to my carrier and change the number. It would take less than five minutes to complete the task, but it actually took me three weeks to accomplish. The physical process was simple. The emotional one, I came to realize, was not so simple.
I can not begin to count the number of hours of conversations that took place between Wyndham and me on that phone. It served as a connector, advisor, timing adjuster, grocery list reminder, expression of love and affection sender, as well as a picture sender to show each other a grandchild’s milestone or a big fish. As we often traveled in the car together, Wyndham and I would be on our phones in order to keep up with many responsibilities. I often reminded him that the physical phenomenon of sounds waves, cell towers, and various wondrous laws of physics would carry his voice—the loud volume of his voice was not needed to reach the person on the receiving end. I found it futile to attempt long conversations on my phone while he was on the line. His voice was too loud. However, I overheard so much encouragement given, so much counsel given…replete with inquiries to the tackle shop in Gloucester to find out if the stripers were biting. His phone made many calls to our kids, grandkids, and friends… sharing victories and defeats, joys and sorrows.
Wyndham hasn’t been able to use his phone for many months. His hands can’t hold it, and his voice is no longer strong enough to make conversation. It makes no sense for us to pay a monthly fee for a windowsill trinket. So, tonight I made the quick switch to change the phone number and officially transferred the phone from Wyndham to Sam. It seems such a simple and reasonable process, but somehow the reality didn’t feel that way. While his family was over for dinner celebrating Emery’s birthday. I handed Sam the phone, got up to put away the dishes from the dishwasher, and then unexpectedly felt the tears flow. Sam hugged me, understanding.
Funny thing though. Because of all the conversations, all the encouragement, all the instructions, all the love, all the laughter….I am confident the same sort of conversations will continue to happen on that phone. Conversations of encouragement, of love, of concern, of counsel, of laughter. I am quite sure, however, there will be no calls to the tackle shop, though perhaps there may be one or two to a golf course to set a tee time.
It’s actually okay—no, it’s more than okay—because this is what is supposed to happen. Wisdom transfers. In fact, wisdom isn’t really wisdom if it is just stored in our heads. It’s simply knowledge then. Wisdom transfers knowledge into a heart of faith and applies it to and with another person. Wisdom must be transferred. Person to person. Generation to generation.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:2)
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Cor. 3:2-3)
Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. (Psalm 71:18-20 NLT)
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. (Psalm 89:1)
So, never forget that all you do and say transfers to someone watching and listening. May the love of God in our hearts transfer to all we have the opportunity to encounter. God has, in a sense, transferred his number to us to extend to the world. We must simply make the calls.
I feel so much emotion reading this, but you’re right. Wisdom transfers. As does love.
I can see how hard that must have been. Wyndham is an amazing person and church leader. We all need to step it up much more to fill the gap left by his retirement. Even that won’t be nearly enough!
Thanks for your consistent encouragement, Alex. Your family is inspiring. We love you all and pray for you. Love, Jeanie
Wisdom transfers and it is doing that in you Jeanie…so beautifully written. The scriptures really sing in your writing today. Thank you for your love that allows you to make and share these wonderful connections of experience and the word of God as you go through your journey. Every bit of your “simple thing” made me feel something. The last two lines hit a cord.
Thank you for sharing such kind words of encouragement. With love, Jeanie
Jeanie. This message is full of Wisdom and love. Thank you.❤
Thanks, Katherine. Love to you and Phil.
So powerful and wise! Thank you for encouraging us to transfer wisdom.💞
You are such an encouragement. Thank you Debbie. Sending our love.
so eloquent, Jeanie! So poignant! So timely, as I’m in Almaty, Kazakhstan, visiting the little church here that has been having a very hard time for too long; I feel inspired by God here to be friendly, to reach out, to talk to people and learn about their stories, to share my story and the good news of Jesus and the gospel, and I feel the dark side wanting to hold me back with fearful thoughts and self-centered, worried thoughts, which I know are based on nothing. The people here are wonderful. The city is open. Thank you for another beautiful piece which is an answer to prayer, help to find the courage I am seeking to love as Jesus loved and speak up and make the calls. Please pray for me. Pray for our brothers and sisters here to love and reach out with fresh faith.
I’m so grateful for the way you live your life, encouraging and strengthening faith around the world. Will pray for your time there, and for fresh faith. Love you very much. Jenaie
Love to you Jeanie. That had to be hard for you because I got a pang of sadness just reading it. I just spent time praying for you and Wyndham.
Terri, Your prayers mean so much. I pray for you as well. You inspire me and many others. Much love, Jeanie