Connecting Feeling and Action

I have often been asked the question, “How do you feel?” But it is very unlikely that I answer with details about my burdens, sorrows, joy, or more. In asking the question of others, I often struggle to really listen to the answer every time.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is:

People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But will never forget how you made them feel.

Recently, I watched a short video posted on Facebook where a man gave a homeless man a lottery ticket. The two went into the convenience store and cashed in $1000. The homeless man was shocked; he persisted to try to share the money with the first man. What struck me, beyond the non-believability of the story, was that towards the end of the interaction the homeless man just cried, really just sobbed at the graciousness and the relief offered by the first man. Upon further research, it was not a hoax, but staged, as the first man had asked the convenience store worker to ‘pretend’ the ticket won $1000. It was a way to spark life into the homeless man’s journey, and let him feel a very different sense than if he had just been given spare change by the other man.

Emotion is defined as, “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” Maya’s quote is directed at the sense of emotion. Emotion is a powerful source of movement; whether it is anger that drives you to act, or sorrow that drives you to change, emotion can get you to move. And, when that emotion is a part of a shared situation, it draws in those that are a part of it. Another great quote, “External circumstances do not create feeling states. Feeling states create external circumstances.” ~ Steering by Starlight

I often wonder if the homeless man was driven to change – perhaps look for work and strive for a life off the streets. What emotions can you spark in others around you? How has God used emotion to push you to something new? How has God used a shared feeling with you & another to help you remember a treasured moment?

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret ...

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Sarah Thompson


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