I bumped into a lady at the grocery store the other day. Literally. You see I have a system. I put the heavier items on the conveyer belt first so they end up at the bottom of the cart. All the cans must be together. All the produce rides the belt together. You get the picture. And I was just so into it that I bumped the lady in front of me while swinging merchandise like a mad woman. I put my hand on her shoulder for a moment and said, “I’m so sorry.” She turned and looked at me with a sad grin. You know the kind. The grin that says, “I’m lonely’. Instantly I thought, that may be the only loving touch she receives today. From a stranger at a grocery store. I looked at her items. Some coffee and creamer and a few other items. Different than my overflowing cart. I thought about her all day. I paid a lot for the cart full of groceries and almost as much at the next store. It made me think.
Encouragement is free.
I often think of encouraging my children and my close friends. I think we ladies make a point of it. “Yes, sweetie, that is a great Lego creation. Tell me about it. You are so creative.” or “I love your new hair-do”, We do coffee dates with friends and encourage one another, but what about those outside our circle? Do we notice them? I will admit, God has been working on this with me for years. When running errands, I get in Storm Trooper mode. I march. I accomplish the mission and I get back to home base. Not anymore. I can’t. That sad smile.
It happened again. At THESIS, my homeschool co-op. I had prayed on the way there that the Lord would help me see moments. Settle down in them with the Moms at the tea I host weekly. I enjoy the teas (where I drink coffee), I do.
Confession: Sometimes I get caught up in making sure I read the lesson and saying the right things instead of listening and encouraging.
I’m getting better. I am, only by the grace of God. And honestly, I sooooo enjoyed the tea last week. I think the Lord shut my mouth and it was a good thing. Sometimes encouragement comes when we are silent and we let others pour their hearts out. It’s what they need. A release. So they can be refilled with good things like smiles. Hugs. A fresh perspective. Sometimes we don’t know what we think until we say it out loud. When we verbalize a situation and hear the ‘me too’! Emily Dickinson puts it best…
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us -don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
Encouragement is born of camaraderie.-click to tweet Isn’t it encouraging to know you are not alone?
We can encourage one another daily for free. It only takes a few moments.
But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].-Hebrews 3:13
If we don’t encourage one another, we can be hardened. We settle into rebellion. We are deceived into sinning. I have been there. I build up bitterness when I think I am the only one going through struggles or difficulty. I need encouragement just as much as the next gal and so do you. The best part is, it is free. It’s a word. A silence. A smile. A pat on the back. A ‘me too’!