Wednesday Wisdom with Wyndham – 68

Wisdom Connects

Anyone can say words. However, wisdom can turn words into connections. Without connection, it’s impossible to communicate on a heart-to-heart level. Wisdom connects words to the heart.

Wyndham, for as long as I have known him, has been a great connector. As he connects deeply with individuals, he also helps them connect with each other. Connectors do this. Their connections are contagious. If connection is only with us, we build dependence instead of family. For years  I have studied Wyndham’s ability to  connect and have sought to emulate this gift as much as possible. 

Ironically, Wyndham’s body has a major connection problem. Though his mind is excellent, and his body should be physically able to function, it doesn’t. There’s a disconnect. It is as if a drawbridge has gone up between his head (or mind) and body. It doesn’t connect well anymore. Our nervous system normally does this connecting automatically…but unfortunately this connection is now missing for him.

Too often, the metaphorical drawbridge goes up when people try to connect. Words are spoken but they don’t bring about closeness or desired unity. They simply give information.

I’ve noticed several aspects of connection as I’ve “studied” Wyndham’s ability to connect. This connection comes not just from words said, but also from the emotional atmosphere and feelings that surround the words. These bring down the drawbridge so that connections are made. The following are attitudes I have watched Wyndham exude which elicit true connection.

You are important to me. I care about you and I value you. This attitude is a bridge between spoken words. The drawbridge is down when we know people care as they speak to us. Even now, though Wyndham can barely talk, he will ask, “Did you give them my love?” or, “How did her meeting go?” or, “Did Caleb catch a fish today?” Because he cares.

I want to hear what you have to say. We all want to be heard and understood.  We communicate this when we truly do want to hear what others say. This invites connection.

I will be vulnerable.  People connect to our weaknesses. It’s often humbling to share them, but we can likely think of people we have easily connected with because of their vulnerability.  Sometimes (often) these posts feel vulnerable. I always read them to Wyndham and ask if it’s okay to share. He always tells me that he knows that connection is in the vulnerability.

I want to have eye-to-eye contact with you.  Often a look from Jesus elicited connection and emotion. Truly the eye is the lamp of the body, as Jesus stated (Matthew 6:22). There’s just something about eye-to eye-connection that helps beget heart-to-heart connection.

I want to hug you.  Have you ever been speaking to someone and their kindness and connectivity just makes you want to get up and hug them? Wyndham knows the importance of affection. We all need hugs. More than we think. Lots of them. It’s hard to hug someone and stay disconnected.

I will be honest with you. And, I want you to be honest with me. There’s nothing like the truth that brings the freedom allowing connection. As Proverbs 24:26 (NLT) states,  An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.”

I want to leave you encouraged, and with hope. No matter how difficult a situation or conversation, we connect to those who are able to offer hope (which is always found in Christ). I have noted that Wyndham gives hope even (and especially) in difficult situations and conversations.

I want to be approachable. I’m always inspired by the way Jesus easily connected with children and the poor. He was a the greatest leader ever, but easily approached by what some considered “the little (or less important) people.”  It takes extra effort to ensure we are easily approached. How can we ever connect with someone we can’t easily approach.

I’m so grateful Almighty God encourages us to approach him (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16).

May we all grow in wisdom to connect as we speak and engage with others.


The Reading Connection

A couple of weeks ago my daughter ordered a book that had been one of her childhood favorites— Puppies Are Like That.  Her long lost book was worn and tattered after being read again and again. She remembered this book with fondness, and was eager to read it to her youngest daughter. puppies are like that

Since the book is out of print I searched for it on the web.  As I discovered places to order used copies, I stumbled upon a review of the book which caught my attention.

When my nephew was a toddler, he loved this book more than all the others combined. Between his parents, grandparents and me, we must have read him that book thousands of times, at least, before he learned to read it by himself.

Twenty years later, a friend gave me a big bag of books her children no longer needed. Down at the bottom of the bag was a copy of that book, well-worn and obviously loved. I laughed when I saw it and set it aside.

The next time my nephew visited me, I handed him that old book. Now that he was a grown man, would he remember the book or think that it was weird that his aunt gave him a children’s book? He  remembered the book and still loved it. He instantly sat down and read it several times. When he was done, he told me he remembered the book and all the people who read it to him. He remembered what it was like to sit in his great-grandmother’s lap and snuggle while she read to him.

His grandmother and great-grandmothers are gone now, but the memories of them live on because of this simple child’s storybook. All the photos of them in our albums can’t conjure up the feelings of love and safety the way that one book does for my nephew.

What a powerful statement.  Never underestimate the feelings of love that can come as a result of your reading books to your children.  As I read this review, I was reminded that connections are made and memories are born—not out of specific books or activities—but from the ways we felt when we experienced these things.

I don’t remember many things from my youngest childhood days, yet I distinctly remember two events.  One took place at an Easter egg hunt when I was about five years old.  A golden egg was hidden among the other eggs—and I found it.  I remember how special I felt to have found the golden egg.  At another time I distinctly remember the smell of onions on my mother’s hands one evening as she placed her hand on my forehead as I prepared to “throw up.”  I remember how comforted I felt that she had come, even though the poignant smell of dinner preparations on her hands helped finish the “deed that needed to be done.”  I felt significant enough to interrupt her dinner preparations.

Several times when the apostle John remembered significant life events—he referred to the way he felt as he experienced them.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.  John 21:7

How significant that in the midst of such major events in John’s life (Jesus’ crucifixion and John’s walk on the water) he felt loved.  So much so that he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Since I wasn’t there when Jesus lived, didn’t witness his miracles, hear his teaching or watch his death on the  cross I have at times wondered how it’s possible to feel connection to him…or “remember him.” Yet a connection beyond human understanding happens when I read his word—many feelings are associated.

I remember reading about forgiveness, and then feeling clean and guilt free as I walked the path back from the river where I was baptized years ago.  I remember reading of peace that passes human understanding, and experiencing that peace even when my circumstances were not peaceful.  I recount the joy I continue to feel because of the relationship I share with him.  I am keenly aware of feelings of warmth that well up inside of me as I experience fellowship within the spiritual family God has given me.  I remember the safety I have felt (even in frightening situations)—all because of the promises of God that I have read and relied on.  Because he is present in his word I remember much more than facts and stories—his words are the words of life.  They have led me to relationship with him.

As you read the Bible— know that it’s meant to lead you to a relationship that connects you with God himself—filling the deepest recesses of your heart.

So, don’t forget to read to your children…and more importantly don’t forget to read your Bible.  You will build memories that last forever.

Connecting to the Network

I got a “new toy”.  As one who likes to write, I often carry my laptop and it gets heavy.  I’ve been saving up for a tablet, and when the one I was eyeing was 70% off (for one day only) I decided it was time to purchase.  It’s not quite as user friendly as some (or one) tablet, but it syncs well with my other devices.  So, after much careful reviewing, I made my purchase.

I downloaded the apps I would likely use most often and also got some tutoring from a good friend who is well versed in this tablet.  In order to get such a good deal, I did have to purchase a monthly connection fee to the 4G network and  give them a two year agreement.  But, that’s okay.  I had planned for this anyway.

All was working well except for one thing.  I could make internet connections using wi-fi, but try as I may….I could not get any connection with the network.  Without the 4G network, I was dependent on spotty wi-fi.   I double checked the activation steps.  I had my friend trace my steps to see what might be amiss.  Alas, we could find nothing wrong.  I thought perhaps the SIM card (connection card) was bad;  or maybe there was some other reason this device had such a major cost reduction for one day.   Maybe this was the day they were getting rid of all the “duds”.  So I made my trek down to the store that carried my device and my account to seek answers to my connection problem.

After a fairly long wait the technician repeated everything that I had already done.  He thought that perhaps I had been sent a “bad” device.  I was disappointed knowing that there was an amazing “network out there” that was for some reason – forbidden to me.   I rested my elbows on the counter patiently (mostly) waiting while the technician worked. After what seemed a very long time I heard – “Aha…there it is!!”.

The technician informed me that the problem was not with my device, but with the account.   When I had been sent the tablet, the monthly payment to my account had been  activated, but the network had  not yet been activated to my device.   Apparently, my agreement to the contract was still pending.  This step had been missed in the process.  I thought about the spiritual implications of this dilemma.

God has always had an agreement, or covenant, with his people.  While there are many, many scriptures concerning covenants  found in both the Old Testament (covenant) and the New Testament (covenant), perhaps my favorite is found in 1 Kings 8:23

      “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below–you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.”

To me, this verse sums up many of the other verses about covenants.  God’s covenant with us stems from his love;  His promises are incomparable; and He will always keep His promises!  Our part of the covenant is simply to live out His plan for our lives – WHOLE HEARTEDLY.

What an offer!  His side of the covenant is amazing beyond comprehension.  His covenant (will, agreement) is to offer me eternal life, forgiveness of sins, His presence in my being, belonging in his family, and much more.  (Talk about an awe-inspiring 4G network…Glory, Grace, God in us, Giant-global family…amazing!!).   God is continually faithful to His covenant and Jesus sealed it with His blood.

However, every covenant has two sides.  I must also take part in this covenant to access the network.  My part is to accept the agreement…and to give it my whole heart – 100%.