Compliments are few and far between. Not sure why, but our culture is hard pressed to give a good, sincere compliment. A couple years ago, I received a great compliment (at least it was to me). After the incredible upset of Auburn over Alabama, on the missed field goal taken back for a touchdown (see clip below) and the end of regulation, I shot a string of texts to SHR celebrating with him. He is a graduate of Auburn, and Auburn/Alabama are bitter rivals – right up there with Ohio State and Michigan. I don’t even like Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss….I simply don’t like the SEC – but the nation couldn’t help but celebrate that most unlikely ending. On into the next day I was sending high-fives to SHR, when he shot back a great compliment. He said “You know what I like about you? You “get” football. You understand the passion and excitement about the game.” Now as a die hard football fan that really did mean a lot to me. And he was right, I do “get” the game
Earlier this week I wrapped up a six week men’s study at church on marriage. The leader of the sessions asked that I be a table leader, which essentially meant leading the discussions at our table each night. Each table had six guys and it was my role to make sure discussions flowed and stayed on topic. One morning the group leader sent me an email praising me on how well I keep conversations going, and manage to make men feel comfortable talking about very, very touchy subjects.
Then it dawned on me. I am bilingual. I am fluent in English, and Guy. Yes, “guy”. I speak Guy very well. I get men and understand fairly well how they tick and where boundaries are often setup. I know how to bust a guys chops, make fun of his favorite sports team, tease him about a particular habit – but seconds later have him confessing is moral failures and frustrations with various temptations. I also know how to praise and lift a guy up. I have been doing this for years. I can see emotions in men’s eyes, and can tell what is sacred to them in a single meeting. More importantly, I have never used this skill for selfish gain or harm. It is a talent, and as far as I am concerned, a God-given gift
This week a 63 year old buddy of mine has been living at our home. He is going through some very serious health challenges – nothing that needs to be discussed on here. He will relocate to a new home about 10 miles from here on Monday. He will share it with three other guys.
He has no family. Never been married, no kids, his sister live in Texas. He is alone and scared (his own words).
Never has my second language been so useful. All week I have been speaking guy to help ease some of the stress that he is going through. He is laughing a lot, and I am doing my best to make him feel strong and manly. He has told me repeatedly that he appreciates it.
I am uneasy about the near future for him. Hopefully a few years from now I will look back on this post and say “Silly, what were you so concerned about.” Regardless, I will continue to bust his chops, tease him and tell him to quit going to Hooters and using my credit card
Enjoy this “answered prayer”