‘An Inside Story’
Yes, I often refer to myself as “Mr. Wonderful.” Not because I think I am such a much but because of a perceptive observation by one of Carolyn’s best friends.
Jennie didn’t watch me and say, “Wow, Wayne is such a wonderful person, nearly perfect; I believe that we should call him, ‘Mr. Wonderful.’” No, if she had seen all of my actions, those words would never have come out of her mouth.
Carolyn and Jennie’s friendship began roughly twenty years ago when they ministered together in a Christian Women’s organization. As they reached out to help other women, they often shared their own concerns with each other and soon became each other’s strongest encouragers. I am sure that Carolyn shared with Jennie some of those times when I fell short of God’s expectations for me, not to be critical, but to seek confidential agreement in prayer for my best interests.
I believe that Jennie listened to Carolyn talk about our life and noted that Carolyn said very little that portrayed me in a negative light. I know that Carolyn is so ingrained in my life that she sees clearly most every fault and shortcoming I have. Make no mistake; she is not shy when she wants to make me aware of changes I need to make to improve me.
Because Jennie did not hear a lot of nitpicking about my shortcomings but instead she heard mostly positive characteristics accredited to me, she naturally thought more of me. I am pretty sure that Carolyn did not brag about how wonderful and perfect I am but instead spoke of our love for each other and the children of our union. She probably pointed out that we always work together to maintain the integrity of our family relationship. In so doing, Carolyn chose to create life in me with her words rather than to sacrifice me on an altar of imperfection.
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) says, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” This verse makes it clear that we hold unique powers to use our conversation to either create life or to destroy it. The New Living Translation says it a little more clearly: “Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.”
I appreciate the fact that Carolyn chooses to see the things I do that are right and spends little time focusing on my faults. In so doing, she encourages me to work especially hard to maintain that level of faith she has in me.
I do not take criticism well, especially mean spirited words that are spoken to destroy but I do respond, much like the family pet, to encouraging words that assure that I am loved. If I had a long bushy tail, it would be wagging wildly in response to Carolyn’s loving and encouraging words.
Thanks Jennie for your encouraging nickname.
by Wayne Brady 5/14/2010