The entire message took less than two minutes. Fifty-seven seconds of a video recording of church bells and twenty-seven seconds of greetings from my friend. I was perplexed at first… why was she sending a recording of church bells??? But then she explained… she had remembered that prior to our moving from Romania I had mentioned that I would miss hearing the daily ringing of church bells, something that had been a part of our lives the 19 years we lived there. And so… she sent me church bells.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (ESV)
Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up. (MSG)
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. (NIV)
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. (NLT)Proverbs 12: 25
A good word, a cheerful word, a kind word, an encouraging word makes us glad, picks us up, cheers us up. What we say can be “just what the doctor ordered” to lift someone’s anxious feelings. My friend’s message spoke tenderly and powerfully to my heart: I’m thinking about you, Mary! I remember something that was meaningful to you! I care enough to take the time to let you know!
There are oh, so many! opportunities for us to come alongside one other these days! “Little” things we say or do can communicate to others how our lives are intertwined and help dispel the feelings of isolation/loneliness that have become so prevalent. “Little” things can demonstrate that we’re wanting to learn from and support one another, that we’re wanting to be intentional in building one another up and being there when times are hard as well as easy. “Little” things can convey that we are looking outward, not focusing on our own circumstances/needs/desires/frustrations but rather being attentive to others around us.
What if you — and I — would be intentional this next week in considering how to encourage at least one person??? As my friend demonstrated, it doesn’t necessarily mean a huge time commitment. It just means letting someone know you’re thinking of them, remembering them, letting them know you care.
And as we do this, together we can have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life!”