Monday, June 12, 2006

encouragement trumping discouragement

Words are powerful. What is said and unsaid can make or break someone, especially when young. And it can affect the older too, weighing down one's spirit with grief and a more or less sense of despair. Or words or expressions of love can lift one to the grace of the Lord.

Recently I was down because of words spoken to me, and the posture of those who spoke them to me. I did let myself dwell on the words said, and the lack of give and take and conversation. It hurt. But life goes on. But in this case the grief and sense of despair hung over my soul. I just couldn't shake it, not in the escape and love of home, nor among the pleasantries of conversations with friends and the healthy busyness of work.

Later in the day, a brother, whom I rarely see, was in our room. We were busy, and I couldn't converse with him, as he worked on a cutter nearby. I lifted him to the Lord in prayer. At a certain point he made eye contact with me. We asked each other how we were doing. There was such a mutual sharing there, just in that simple, short exchange. A sense of brotherly love and esteem for each other.

For some reason, in God's providence, that exchange dissipated the cloud that had been hanging over me the last few days. It was like the sun breaking through the overcast. My sense of grace and of God's strengthening presence was restored. It was curious to me that this could break it, and so suddenly and thoroughly as it did.

Lord, Thank you for my brother today, whom you used to encourage me in the midst of my gloom and discouragement. Let us learn the art of encouraging each other, in ways that lift us out of ourselves and our darkness, into your grace and presence. Amen.


John Frye said...

Wow, Ted, what an encouraging story. You had a brush with God right there through that brother. God was "fathering" you through that man. Thanks for telling the story.

Ted Gossard said...

Yes John. You're helping me to see the importance of story as really where we live, and what God's revelation to us in Jesus, is all about. Thanks brother! And thanks for your kind words here. Yes, I think you're right in the "fathering" thought. Thanks for that insight for me to receive and reflect on.