At a church meeting a couple of months ago, I passed out to the folks who came Dove Chocolate Promises. Those are bite-sized chocolates wrapped in colorful foil you can find on any candy aisle. I brought two kinds of chocolates. The milk chocolates were wrapped in blue foil and dark chocolates in red. Most folks in our group took one or two and, as I recall, they were predominately an either/or crowd. That is, they wanted either “dark” or “milk.” Some of the group took a candy to be eaten later. Others immediately opened the wrapper and popped it into their mouth.
One of the things I love about Dove Promises is that each piece has a message inscribed on the inside of the wrapper. I don’t remember who was first to read theirs, but it didn’t take long till everyone was sharing what they found inside their wrapper. Even the folks who had intended to save theirs for later went ahead and unwrapped the chocolate, ate it and read aloud the bit of wisdom inside.....
“Don’t talk about it, just be about it.”
“When life isn’t going right, go left.”
“Throw kindness around like confetti.”
“Inhale the future, exhale the past.”
Sometimes comments would follow, like “Wow, that’s true with all that’s going on right now!” Or, “That’s a good one.” Or, “That one will preach!” That night, we paused together.....only for several seconds......hmmmm.....we pondered each message as the chocolates melted in our mouths (I read somewhere that you should never chew up chocolate—it's meant to melt, meant to be savored).
I have wondered since why and how this simple act of eating a chocolate, sharing a few words—some wise, some funny, some challenging—set the tone for our meeting in such a sweet way (Pardon the PUN!), BUT IT DID. Understand that I didn’t plan it—I just needed some chocolate and thought others might need it too.
And, then I received a daily reading/devotional from a friend (Thank you, Kelly!). It’s called Monday Manna...being nourished to nourish the world by Arianne Braithwaite Lehn. I’m grateful to Arianne for putting into words what I experienced that evening. She wrote, “I've been surrounded lately with promptings to reflect on the power of pausing.” She, Arianne, went on to say, “A pause is connection. Connection to God. Connection to your true heart. And from that place of connection, you can have so much confidence in choosing what you will do next.”
That’s it! Connection is what I felt in that communal pause. Together, after hearing each message read, we sat in oh-so brief silence—wondering, considering, thinking, perhaps praying, about how we would respond to the tidbits of truth shared. Moments of connection, even if they are only pauses, are fragile and sacred and precious.
In this season, where there’s hardly a moment to spare, unwrap a chocolate, put it in your mouth and pause....