Normally, when one desires to affect people with his or her words, whether it be to induce confidence, to give solace, or to inflict meaningful rebuke, he or she will spend much time preparing a long and thoughtful speech. It tends to stand that the more filled with consequential words a lecture is, the greater the effect on the audience will be. I have recently found that this is not always so.
It is common on Monday evenings from six to seven that the Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life group, of which I have recently become a member, will stand outside the Planned Parenthood clinic and pray the Holy Rosary for the end of abortion and the preservation of the unborn. Upon driving early to this weekly event yesterday, I decided that, instead of merely waiting in my car for the others to arrive, I would spend the time saying a few extra prayers for the little ones. As I knelt on the sidewalk alone, many people passed, whether by vehicle or on foot, none making any comments, none making any hint of notice, but I did not mind. Then, at one point in time, I saw in my peripheral vision a figure coming steadily and quickly toward me. I could hear his shoes briefly scraping against the ground as he panted heavily. He was a jogger and an old one at that. From what I could tell, he was about seventy years of age. I expected that the man would simply pass by, paying no heed to me, as was common of joggers who pass quite frequently in front of the clinic. That he did for the most part, but he surprised me. While he did not cease to run, he did slow his pace somewhat. This he did to speak to me for a brief moment.
"May God bless you, son," said he in a low and rough voice. "Keep it up!"
I nodded in acknowledgment of his statement, and he continued on his run. This older man prepared no speech, he had no lecture for me with long and flowery phrases. His words were simple and abrupt, but to me, they held more meaning than any speech could have at that very moment. This man had a valid sense of what is right, and he was willing to give confidence to those who stood for it. I applaud him greatly for that, and had I the chance, I would express my deepest thanks, for by his simple statement, he prompted a confidence and hope in me that I knew not myself to have lacked beforehand. I pray that, one day, he may know the power of his brief speech, and that Almighty God may reward him for it.
May God bless you.