If your eyes are open and you are looking for opportunities to share a genuine encouraging word, it has been my experience that you will get your chance. Some days you end up being the one on the receiving end and that is a gift too. Of course, the obvious is to encourage those in your home, but what about others that land in your path? Talking to strangers can be a bit risky. What will they think? What if they do not want to be talked too? What if they want to talk longer than the time you have? Lots of questions could keep you from engaging in conversation. However, I have not found one of them to really matter when I look at how Jesus spent His time.
With so much despair in our world today, a kind word can change someones day. It might not change their week, but a day is a good start. I have found that words cost nothing, but can pour over you like water on a Texas summer day. Think of times when you were in need and how genuine, uplifting conversations helped you keep going. A real look in a persons eyes can tell you so much. Take a look and ask the Lord to give you the words to say. He knows the persons heart and just might use you to speak exactly what they need to hear. What a blessing that can be!
A good rule to follow is not to have any hidden motives. Most people are not blind to those with an agenda in mind. Genuine care and love for others looks a lot like Jesus. Why don’t we follow His model? I know my feelings have been hurt when I discovered there was a reason why someone seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me, but actually wanted to use me. The truth usually rises to the surface before too long. I often wonder about extremely wealthy people or those in high positions, if they feel like they have those around them that just want to be their friend. Is trusting others hard to do? I pray we will be trustworthy, encouraging and loving to everyone not wanting anything in return. Trust that the Lord will meet your needs and do not try and wrestle your need from others.
Maybe, just maybe, we can be used to repair what is broken in someones heart by telling and showing them the love of Jesus. It can make your errands so much more meaningful. However, I must warn you ahead of time, this requires you to be flexible. It also requires you to ask the Lord what His plans are for your day and be sensitive to His leading. It has made some interesting adventures. Just today we encountered a man that had stories to tell. The line of work he had been in caused him to see things that most do not. I did not know if he was a believer or not, but told him I would pray for his mind and the images it held. I told him I would pray for discernment in doing his job. Does he have anyone else praying for him?
We continued on our day and had just prayed at lunch. Within minutes a beautiful couple sat down next to our table and did the same thing. I was so happy and told them so! The husband said we could have prayed together. As we were leaving at the same time, I spoke an encouraging word that honestly was not mine. God does things like that and it is incredible. Our lunch date was made even richer by that sweet encounter. Yours can be too.
It must be genetic because one of our boys came to tell me that he met a new friend. My husband had been playing with the kids in the driveway and somehow this kid ended up inviting a teen girl passing by to write with sidewalk chalk. They spent sometime together and he never got her name, but said that was fine with him. I would have loved to hear the conversation. He knew some facts about her and was happy as could be. He said recently that, “Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet.” I think I read that Chip Gaines’ grandfather said the same thing. I love it!
So, let’s pray and ask the Lord to open our eyes to those around us. We need to have our eyes off of ourselves and our phones more. There are plenty of people in despair that could use a word or our time. Much is broken in our world, but the last time I checked God was in the business of repairing. If we are willingly and surrender our ideas and plans, He has something to work with. A life lived spent on loving others sounds like a life lived well. Let’s get to it!