Philippians 2:4 – Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (HCSB)
Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are a honeycomb sweet to the taste and health to the body (HCSB)
Recently, I was staying with my grandchildren while their parents were out of town. They only live about two blocks from their school, so we had planned to walk every morning and afternoon. One morning it was drizzly and misty, but we discussed it and decided it was nothing we couldn’t handle. I grabbed a travel mug of coffee, put the leash on the puppy, passed out umbrellas, and off we went! We were talking and singing and just having a great time until we got right in front of the school and the clouds opened up!!! It was as if someone had flipped a switch. “Pouring” doesn’t really begin to describe the rainfall. At this exact moment in time, in the worse than pouring rain, with teachers and parents and students crowding the schoolyard — the puppy decides it’s potty time!!! I was overcome with various emotions — worried about my grandchildren, embarrassed about the puppy, totally helpless in a situation that had seemed so controllable at the beginning. I told that story to four different people – two family members, one close friend, and one recent acquaintance. One family member asked only about the children. The close friend and the other family member asked about both the children and the puppy. Only the recent acquaintance showed concern for me. She expressed sympathy for the chaotic moment in front of the school and also for me having to walk back home in the storm. I started to think how much that situation is like life in general. We think there may be a little trouble ahead, but it’s nothing WE can’t handle. Then comes the storm! And while we are enduring the storm, thinking it’s the worst that can happen, something comes along to prove us wrong — and of course there always seems to be an audience! For sympathy and comfort we turn to our families. We can come away from our birth family feeling inadequate. We may come away from our church family feeling judged. But, then sympathy and comfort come to us from an unexpected source. A simple “How are YOU?” can make such a difference in someone’s life. Sarah Fielding said “The words of kindness are more healing to a drooping heart that balm or honey.” Lord, help me to remember that showing interest and using kind words can be a great gift and a soothing balm in someone’s life. Storms will come. Embarrassing moments will come. But, help me to show Your love through my love and be a living example of John 13:35 (By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” HCSB).