Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

I haven't joined in on Spiritual Sundays in a while. Thanks to Charlotte and Ginger for hosting the SSs each week. Go here for more inspiration.

I hope this story hasn’t been used on SS before.

Today I would like to share a portion my former pastor’s book. The book is Bless and Be Blessed, How your words can make a difference, by Peter Lord. I was in Peter Lord’s Baptist church for over 20 years. Below is a story he used in one of his sermons back in the 80s, it was one of my favorites and has stuck with me through the years. I am so glad he added it to one of his books that was published a few years ago.

The Johnny Lingo Story

The Johnny Lingo Story has been made into a short move, and it has been told and retold in many publications, but it is worth telling again.

Johnny was a great trader and the richest man in all the Caribbean Islands. Besides this, he was good looking and a very eligible bachelor. All the girls wanted to marry him. In fact he could have had anyone he wanted. No one could understand why he chose Lucita.

A person with the gift of mercy would describe Lucita as plain. That would, in fact, be a very generous description. For years her father had verbally abused her. The marks of a bad self-image and low self-esteem were written all over her.

It was customary on Lucita’s island for a man to give a dowry for a wife. The dowry was always in cows. An average bride would bring three cows. Very attractive women were worth four to six cows. Lucita’s father knew he would be lucky to get two cows for Lucita, especially because he was up against the smartest trader on the island. So he decided he would ask for two cows and settle for one.

The day of the engagement was a very important day on the island. When Johnny came to ask for Lucita;s hand in marriage, the whole community gathered at the home of the bride-to-be. After the necessary introductory formalities, Lucita’s father asked Johnny what he was offering for his daughter. Without hesitation Johnny offered eight cows.

The crowd was stunned. Lucita’s father could not believe his ears. Had Johnny gone crazy or blind? Why did the smartest trader in all the islands offer eight cows for someone who could have been had for one? Lucita’s father quickly accepted Johnny’s offer.

Johnny Lingo and Lucita were married, and in a short period of time, Lucita developed into t he most beautiful woman in the islands. The townspeople were amazed at the transformation. So was Lucita’s father, who accused Johnny of cheating him. “You should have paid me ten cows,” he claimed.

What was Johnny Lingo’s secret? What did he know that could transform a person so radically? He had learned that if you treat another person as though she were what she could become, that is what she will become. Johnny wanted an eight-cow wife, so he treated Lucita like one from the beginning.

Isn’t this the way God has treated us? Despite our ugliness, our sin, he traded very highly for us? He gave his only Son for us. And now he treats us as his children. This is very hard for us to grasp and accept because of the negative world in which we live, but it illustrates the power of eulogy no matter how it is given.

At the end of each chapter is a Blessing Exercise, this is at the end of this chapter: Can you recall a time when someone spoke a good word to you that strongly impacted your life? Can you remember doing that for someone else?



Clif said...

Oh, I love this story. It is wonderful. In answer to your two questions my answer to both is "Yes."
Thank you for posting.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful story! I had never heard it before. That is what the Lord did for us wasn't it? We are that pearl of great price. Thank you for sharing this.

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Katherine, I have never heard this story and was so blessed by it. I do remember times when good words were spoken to me that really encouraged me to be the best that i could be.
Thank you for sharing.

Charlotte said...

What a wonderful story. I had not heard it before. It reminds me of the stories Clif told when he was preaching. I'm so glad you shared it with us today for Spiritual Sundays.

SmilingSally said...

Every time a kind word is spoken, I am impacted in a positive fashion. Thanks for the reminder.

enchanting cottage said...

What a great~~great~~ story! I'm so glad that you shared it today on Spiritual Sunday. You have been missed.

Mary said...


A powerful lesson to be learned from this story. Glad I dropped in.