Wednesday, September 15, 2010
A Little Light Seeping Through the Darkness
If there is one thing that is always in short supply, it’s encouragement.
I don’t know why that is, but it is. And how you can tell is by the oversized reaction that occurs when someone gets encouraged.
It’s something in the water, I think. Or the culture. It’s become something of an endangered species. We hunger and thirst for encouragement.
I don’t actually think this is anything new. Encouragement is one of the spiritual gifts highlighted by St. Paul in his letter to the Romans (12:8). In other words, it was unusual enough to be classified as a special gift from God.
Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is doing a weekly jam on the topic – posing a prompt on Thursdays and then participants post by the following Thursday. The prompt for this week is unexpected encouragement which, given my opening words, is the only kind I think there is.
I think of encouragement as grace – a grace bestowed particularly in those times when life looks bleak, you’re surrounded by trouble, there are awful events you’re having to deal with, or any other of those things that comprise part of a normal life.
Like when your son has to have emergency brain surgery, and a pastor shows up to pray with you.
Or you’re a young couple, pregnant, move to St. Louis and their house in Houston won’t sell for 18 months because the mortgage industry has shut down (1979-1980), and an older couple takes them into their hearts.
Photograph: Hayloft by Nancy Rosback. Used with permission.