Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs 12:25
Present days make the most spiritual man/woman stoop. Each of us is is in need of encouragement. Loss appears on every side, needless loss born of disobedience to God, and the natural losses in life, like the passing of a loved one.
There is a remedy. Take a full measure of faith, with generous portions of determination. Take daily, as required, regularly and sufficiently. This concoction has a tendency to increase with use. A combination of faith and determination are necessary elements to “victorious living.” Compare it to a sourdough starter. And it gets better over time. It will increase with practice and use; sharing it will be a natural progression.
There are almost as many ways to encourage others as there are of us. I tend to write notes or make almost impromptu visits, occasional phone calls. That may not resonate with you, but we can reach out. Develop your own style. Here are some ideas, some I use, some I’d do if I had that ability:
- Send a handwritten note, an email or even a text. Keep it light as possible. Include humor when appropriate. Before you send it, pray for that person.
- Take tea or coffee to someone; I mean: take everything you need. Beverage, tea cookies, fruit, or biscotti. You may take it in a thermos and decant into a teapot when you arrive, removing china teacups or mugs, small saucers, and linen napkins. Disposables are fine too; the point is to take whatever you need to make an occasion. I will do a separate article about this soon, but get your creative juices going and then, yourself! This requires effort, but will make an impression and a long-lasting memory.
- What can you do that is unique to you? Can you make a small watercolor? Sign it with “Thinking of you, Your name.” What a treasure.
- Print a photograph that is meaningful, a picture of you and whomever, or a nature picture. Frame it or not and give it. A note can explain the significance, if necessary.
- A seasonal candle; present it or discreetly drop it into a handbag, with a “love you.” Move on.
- Ask questions of someone. You will end up being blessed. Most “older” people have done some living. Here are some examples of neat things I have learned by listening.
- One friend crash-landed in Pakistan to a runway of foam.
- Another has interviewed celebrities.
- One rather unassuming woman has a high classification of government security.
- One has been involved in opera and theater and has traveled extensively.
- A couple I know made choices to backpack throughout the world. You would never guess this to see them now in their “snowy” years, unless you spoke with them. Their experiences left them brimming with fascinating stories for this eager recipient.
- Friends that have built companies, have lived on the Serengeti plains and one that was married to a well-known evangelist. Friends that have raised remarkable children and friends that have unshakable enthusiasm for life while they are here on earth.
It may be cliché, but the best ability is availability. I prefer to work at my desk in the morning and not to have phone calls. While I was writing this very article, a friend called and I knew she’d not be offended if I called her back in a few hours. Friends are like that, not easily offended. But! I was prompted to stop what I was doing, and said hello to a sobbing woman, my friend. I am not sure who was blessed more; we ended the call in laughter. For me, the greatest part was hearing how she and her husband came to invite Christ into their lives. Lesson: There are times God would have us stop what we are doing for something that matters more important to Him. His ways are higher, so listen up!
Be challenged today. Don’t let a day go by without a glad word to someone else. Think of yourself as a fairy godmother, going about spreading glad tidings wherever you go. Why live a fairy tale? In truth, we have a real and higher ranking than fairy godmothers. We are children of the most high God. Spreading His care is what is expected as royalty in His realm. Remember your position in Christ, and you will be encouraged this day to be an ambassador. Spread a good word today!
Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle. Benjamin Franklin