By Heather Temple-Williams
Heather wrote …
At first glance this seems an odd quote of choice for a speechwriter. After all, my job is all about the words. I would love to think that my words will go down in history; that one day, a speech I have written will be included in a book entitled “Best Speeches of the 21st Century”. The reality however, is that non-political speeches by civil servants rarely go down in history, unless it’s for all the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, I still strive to write well. To write speeches that will leave a lasting impression, long after the words have been forgotten.
Jesus didn’t need a speechwriter. He knew exactly what to say. He could be challenging, curt and confrontational. He could also be calming, caring and compassionate. Wherever he went, crowds followed him, because the things he said were astonishing and because the things he did were even more astonishing. But I believe that Jesus would not have drawn such large crowds, or kept his disciples for three years and more, if he had treated people with indifference, disdain, or worse. I believe that Jesus’ love and compassion for people spoke as clearly as his words. That is why a child was brave enough to go up to him with his lunch. That is why a woman, unclean by the standards of the day, felt able to press through the crowd and touch his cloak. .
The question for today is, how do we make people feel? Do we make them feel inadequate with our religious knowledge? Do we carry out good deeds with bad grace? Or, do people feel loved and at peace? Do we leave people better than we found them? Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel. Not all of us will do that from a pulpit or a platform, but we can all do it through kind words and kind deeds. People will forget what we say and even what we do. But the most important thing is that they remember how we made them feel. Because then they will know that God loves them.
About Heather Temple-Williams
I did a quick Google search about Heather.
As her reflection suggests, her Linkedin profile describes her as a speech writer for the Welsh Governemnt, she is also a Law Graduate and theology Student. She is now part of an ecumenical church in Cardiff.
She has spoken more about her story here.