I have an acquaintance who never fails to compliment me on some aspect of my attire.
Now, this might be a normal occurrence for many of you, but as I have never been accused of being a fashionista, it’s a rare event for me. She doesn’t gush or tell me I look like I’ve lost 30 pounds (which, while it would be nice if it was true, hasn’t happened yet). She points out simple things like “I love your necklace” or “that sweater looks great with that top”. As I am slightly paranoid about most of my outfits (unless my sister picked them out), I can’t help but be gratified.
It may be shallow, but I like a compliment.
A random comment at Bible study from someone, telling me how much she enjoys my blog – I didn’t know she’d ever read it – made my day.
Another friend just today added an encouraging comment about my writing to the end of a non-writing related note. There’s no way she could have known that the summer schedule, while fun for me and the kids, is brutal to the writing lifestyle I’m attempting to carve out for myself. But her words were soothing to my anxious spirit.
And then there’s the priceless moment when someone tells me I’m doing a good job as a mom. Especially when it comes on a day when I’m feeling like the worst mom on earth.
I’ve been wondering how often I fail to encourage someone because I’m too busy to pay attention, or because I assume that they are so put-together, so confident, so sure, that anything I might say would be meaningless. When, in reality, there is no way for me to know what’s happening behind closed doors—what frustrations or fears they are facing—or how close to the breaking point they are.
And I wonder, as someone who is rarely at a loss for words, if I shouldn’t do a better job and use my powers for good. I’d love it if when people walk away from me, rubbing their ears because I’ve been talking for fifteen, twenty, OK, fine, thirty minutes straight, they walk away with a glad heart because my words weren’t self-absorbed and self-focused, but were a message of encouragement, soothing to an anxious heart.
Father, May we be Your mouthpiece, speaking grace into the lives of those we see each day. May we point others to You with the way we use our words to lift others up. Amen.