Monday, 2 March 2015


"A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!" Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)
I've written many passive-aggressive messages in my time, from scrawled notes to housemates pointing out how lovely it would be if we washed up occasionally to polite emails alluding to veiled displeasure at someone’s actions.
And I’ve received a fair number too. I can still conjure up the disproportionate rage evoked by seemingly insignificant Post-it notes or their technological equivalents, and cringe at time spent dreaming up witty come-backs to words which ruined my day.
Far better to dwell instead on messages which leave positivity in their wake.
I smile at the memory of my first job, single-handedly cooking for 40 students for weeks on end, and am so grateful to the person who arrived early to leave me encouraging little notes in the kitchen. I chuckle at the unexpected joy of finding funny pictures randomly stuck inside cupboards by a housemate.
I find pleasure in the pretty postcard received for no reason other than someone thought I’d like it, and in those ‘saw this and thought of you’ text messages. I appreciate photos of my new niece WhatsApped to me when her tired parents have every excuse not to be in touch, and remain thankful for that croissant on my desk in the run-up to Christmas from a colleague who knew me well enough to know that it would help.
How good, as the proverb goes, is a timely word!
Little communications, unnoticed by the majority, with surprising power to show their recipient that they are known, loved, and worth the effort. Timely Post-its, texts, cards and emails which – by choosing love, joy, kindness and the rest over criticism and passive-aggression – reflect in some small way the Word coming among us at just the right time and send a bigger message that another way is within our grasp.
Emily Bowerman
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