Painters & Pointers*
- August 31, 2022
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33b
Once upon a time, I found myself in a marriage bootcamp session listening to someone sharing some of the differences between men and women. This speaker was providing insights about approaches to communication. He offered two different communication styles that describe most people: Painters and Pointers.
Painters are people who don’t just want to share information. They want to verbally paint a picture of every story. They’re incredibly detailed, but also incredibly verbose. Conversely, the pointer doesn’t want to waste time with unnecessary words. They are concise, straight-forward, and get right to the point. Both can be effective ways to communicate, but both styles can require the listener to interact appropriately to either get more direct information or less backstory.
Spend just a few minutes with me, and you’ll quickly realize that I am a painter. I always seem to have a lot of something to say. Part of that is my desire to provide a complete story with every possible detail. I could share more reasons, so before this turns into a script for the Doctor Phil show, allow me to simply confess that, if given the chance, I can talk your ears off. That’s not all bad, I guess. I suppose this trait helps me feel comfortable speaking with the many people with whom I interact at LSEM. It also might explain why I like to write devotions that share my thoughts and feelings about life as a Christian in today’s world. Then again, maybe that’s just me putting my English minor from Concordia to good use. Whatever it is, I am just happy to play a small part in praising God through written words designed to share a message that somebody might need to hear every now and again.
But what happens when the paint can is empty? A witty person might note that I am still a painter at heart, seeing that it’s taken over 300 words to arrive here, but allow me to get to the point…
I don’t have anything to say.
Ever feel that way? Are you feeling that way now? It’s not a pleasant place. It’s like a dry and barren wilderness that seems to go on without ceasing. Of course, everybody finds themselves in these places from time to time. For me, I know the root cause of my feelings, and I am actively sharing my thoughts and concerns in prayer and conversations. But to be asked to write a devotion while I am feeling this way has challenged me to find a suitable topic. After a few attempts, I have decided to make my feelings the topic. Unfortunately, that still leaves me somewhat lacking the words to share.
Lucky for me, the pointed words of Jesus to his disciples in John 16:33 provide me the reassurance I need.
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Fifteen powerful words.
Fifteen words that remind me that it’s okay to be tired, and frustrated, and discouraged, and even speechless.
Jesus was familiar with these emotions. He dealt with them throughout His life and public ministry. The Bible offers multiple accounts of Jesus taking time for Himself to rest and pray so that He could continue to do the work He came to do. Ultimately, through that sacrifice, He kept that final promise, overcoming the world for every man, woman, and child who has ever, or who will ever live. That’s powerful. But more important…
He did it just for me.
He did it just for you.
It is my prayer that in all things, we will find the love of God surrounding us, giving us what we need in every situation. Or, as Christ so succinctly said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
*Used with permission
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
Senior Director of Operations