I had to type out some of the many, meaty quotes I ear marked in a copy of someone else's book (for SHAME) before handing the book back today. Thank you, Edith Schaeffer.
We should be able to say, "You know something of the way we love you. You can always come to us in any kind of trouble. You will always find forgiveness and understanding and help. Yet we are nothing in comparison to God, our Heavenly Father whose faithfulness is perfect compared to our imperfection."
A good rule to remember (whether you are dealing with a three-year old person, a 30-year old person or a 60-year old person) is that right after the baby song, play, picture has been presented, right after the mature painting, lecture, music has been introduced, right after you have read the most important book chapter, heard the sermon, listened to the cell solo, looked at the statue-anything you say must be positive. The human being looking for your understanding needs to find it at this moment. The need for sharing what has been exciting in bringing this forth-whatever this is-needs response. The spark must meet another spark, or the fire dies out and dark discouragement can flood in. Discussion, constructive criticism, presentation of some thoughts on what has been done, cannot be given to anyone at the wrong moment. The right time comes later.
The are some things that are too costly to say, some things that are too great a luxury to use sarcasm, some things that are too cleverly devastating to ever use in trying to get the better of someone. To win in the midst of saying that kind of thing, is to lose entirely. What rare and marvellous thing am I losing in order to win what little victory?
Therefore, before speaking of the fact that our memories will contain upsetting times which we lived through, it is important to set forth the strong fact of our need for reassurance time after time and the pleading with each other not to "destroy" each other by constantly dwelling on the weaknesses (with a virtuous feeling of being honest or realistic or non-hypocritical).