So, I wrote a poem about it. I’m not going to post it here because I’m thin-skinned about that sort of thing. It was never something that was supposed to be public anyway, as I was led to give it to certain people – which I did.
Last night I shared a bit of my life with a friend, and how someone who labors in the field deeply touched my life and gave me so much encouragement, years ago. She understood what I was talking about and it was nice to be able to discuss something like that with someone who “gets it”. For me, this is one the richest parts of true Christian fellowship, when you can unload your heart in praise for the great things God is doing (or has done) and the person you’re telling gets just as excited as you are. How cool is that? There’s a connection there that we all have with other believers when it comes to this, that really does make them feel like family, even if we’ve just met for the first time. This is something friendships in the world can’t offer, because they are temporary, earth-bound, limited.
My purpose for writing tonight however, wasn’t about that part of Christian fellowship per se. More than anything, it’s a great big burden on my heart to tell people when they’ve said something, written something, or done something that caused me to think, repent, feel loved, or expressed what I could not say (but wanted to), due to either limited knowledge and understanding, or deep grief and emotional trials. I’ve been through some pretty difficult stuff in my 42 years, and God has always been faithful to bring alongside those who minister to me in huge ways, during those times. This is no small matter to me, and I know that when you minister (in a variety of ways, not just pastoring or the textbook definition of ministering) it’s good to hear from time to time that what you’re doing for the Lord, is truly making a difference in someone’s life.
So the thing is this... and it’s really simple stuff:
If someone is currently blessing you or has been a blessing in your walk, take the time to tell them. Call them if you can, or email them, or send a card. Find a nice way to lift their hearts and know that they have indeed blessed you and strengthened you. For all you know, they may be questioning themselves at every turn and wondering what in the world they’re doing, but silently praying and hoping that God is indeed using them somehow, to edify others in the body. For all you know, they might be broken and hurting on the inside, dealing with all sorts of personal situations that make their lives miserable, but suffering silently and serving, instead of putting their own needs first.
It might just be, that a word of encouragement from you, back to them, is just exactly what it was they needed to hear, right at that moment. Like a sudden rain shower on a hot summer day, your words might be the most soothing and refreshing thing they’ve heard all day. We’re supposed to be doing this anyway, edifying the body and encouraging one another in Christ. I wish I saw more of this. I wish I did more of it myself. I’m aiming for that, but I know I still don’t do it as much as I think I should.