Speaking Truth with Love

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grief call

“Calm down, Pamela. Take a deep breath. I can’t understand what you are trying to say,” I directed.


Her sobbing on the other end of the phone call indicated that she was in deep trouble, but as of yet, I couldn’t distinguish the cause. 


Pamela lived about two and a half hours from me in the capital city. The unique thing about her arrival in Taiwan a couple of years earlier was that we both had connections to the same rural town in West Texas. Her dad had been my high school government teacher and we knew one another’s families. 


When Mr. Gentry had found that Pamela was seeking employment opportunities on our island, he immediately contacted Mark and I. A father’s youngest daughter remains his concern no matter how self-sufficient she truly is. We’d gladly picked her up at the airport and even helped moved her into her first apartment there in Taipei. 


Pamela and I spoke regularly on the phone, yet this morning her tone was far different. Obviously, something was desperately wrong.


As her anguish continued, I said a quick prayer for consoling wisdom. Waiting a moment longer,  I then faintly picked out Pamela’s words among her cries:


“I am soooo sorry,” she gasped.


Unable to imagine what this sweet personality had done to cause such remorse, I reemphasized my call for composure. 


As if she’d suddenly thought of something new, her sobs subsided and she asked weakly, “Have you not heard?”


My mind raced to what the news could be and I stumbled to acknowledge my ignorance.


With extreme gentleness and a unexpected clarity of the situation, Pamela broke the news that I will never forget, “My dad called this morning,” she whispered. Your father passed away last night. I am so, so grieved for your loss.” 


Separated from my extended family by a fourteen-hour time difference, the Father brought Pamela to Taiwan to grieve my dad’s death with Mark and I. What a dear gift she proved to be. 


Pamela went to Taiwan to tell the people there about Christ. What she didn’t realize is that her life of obedience would be sent to speak Truth in Love to me as well (Ephesians 4:15).


When I think back upon this day in 1996, I’m often reminded of Romans 10:15, “And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” (NLT)


In our recent prayer journey, we’ve prayed that the Father bind up deceit, prepare hearts to receive Truth and open eyes to see Truth. Let us deepen our prayers to include asking Him to send someone to speak Truth to those around us. And you know, we may find that sometimes the messengers are sent to us as well. 


Have you been a messenger of Truth lately?