Have you noticed how the art of handwritten letter writing is increasingly fading? Our once, ‘hi how are ya’, or ‘
thinking of you’, followed by a more lengthy note of encouragement, has been replaced with a quick text “how r u ttm” (How are you, talk to me).
Our words of encouragement to others hold TONS of weight. To see in writing, that you are loved, appreciated, then with word imagery, we pull out the pom~poms and cheer each other on. I strongly believe ‘encouragement’ is universally lacking.
I have begun an intense study of the book of Philippians. I start by looking at Philippi, then Paul the author. Paul wrote this letter while in prison in Rome. This, his most personal of all letters to a church, his main directive is to thank them for their love and support.
So basically the letter is a huge ‘thank you’ note. Yet, he doesn’t stop there, he continues. Here’s a bit of encouragement … “I thank my God when I think of you … I have you in my heart …. stand fast…be of the same mind… rejoice in the Lord always… don’t be anxious … but by prayer… be thankful … let your request be made known…and the peace of God…shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus … think on these things (dandy of a list) …” Wrapping it up with “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit…” THAT is some high five-ing, high flying pom~pom action! “GO PHILIPPIANS!”
May we pause for a brief moment, Paul wrote this while in CHAINS in prison. He could have, in his humanity, turned the letter into a huge ‘whine.’ He could have withheld the encouragement until the ‘conditions’ were better. MANY excuses could have surfaced. He could have waited until he walked free in the streets, felt the warmth of rubbing shoulders with others, breathed in fresh air. But he didn’t. He spoke from his captivity. He had faith, he reached for his God and shared that experience with others.
What an example to us all, that we not “WAIT.” Wait, until we have it all together. Wait until ‘we’ think the conditions are just right to reach out to someone else, EVEN in our own pain, our own struggle. Sure, some of us are thinking, “But he was PAUL, the dude had a direct blinding link to Jesus!” Yes, yes he did. But so do we. We have the same Lord, the same Spirit dwelling in us.
Our words whether they be verbal, written, texted or twittered, posted or pasted. May we reach out. May we hug with our words. Remember a time when someone reached out to you? You felt the warmth, the love, the lift? The image of the old adage “Measure twice and cut once,” comes to mind. May we seek the accuracy of the fit. The fit of our words.
Don’t wait … someone out there needs YOU. The hurting, the lonely, the confused. Embrace them. They need your words of encouragement. They cant wait for you to ‘get it all together’. They need it NOW! They need US, now! ” So thankful you are in my life …. Hang in there … stay focused … be happy in God … don’t freak out … cry out to God … tell Him like it is …. God will take care of you … think about God stuff.” Ok, so it’s not Paul fancy, but it speaks …
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)