Sunday, January 11, 2009

Living in Community - Encouraging One Another

I like to say that if God had intended for us to live in isolation, He would have created us each on our own planet. There was a time, when I think I would have preferred that. But not anymore.

I love living in community. I love my "village". I love the things that we do for each other to encourage one another. Whether it be "Supper Club", or the carpool driver, (picking up my children to bring them to school) reminding me "13 more seconds, Linda". Apparently, she could tell I was counting every one til I could crawl back into my bed!

Sometimes, it's a formal "C'mon! You can do it", or a "Hey! I'm proud of you" that encourages. The clapping, the cheering (or the 'steel toed boots' in my behind).

What I've been aware of recently is the other ways that I am also encouraged:

Watching someone walk through a dark time, a life-changing event, or a difficult emotion - encourages me greatly! If they can, perhaps I can too!

Sometimes, it's the silent standing by, a hand on a shoulder or a quiet word of prayer.

Sometimes it is the gentle courtesies that seem far away and lost in the hustle of day to day life - the holding of a door, yielding right-of-way, "please", "thank you".

And, sometimes.... it's things that I don't even notice at the time. The Facebook "status" about running in the cold - that encouraged me to pick my walking pace up to a run when I was cold. The people I encounter (who find me!) who are on similar journeys. The moments of conversation that later remind me that I am not alone in this world. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else is walking the same path is encouragement enough.

I have been given people in my life - many, many people - who encourage me, who walk with me, who stand by me, who pray with and for me, who laugh with me and sit silently beside me. They remind me that there is much Grace, Joy and Love in this world.

I am truly, truly blessed. Thank you God for my "village". May I return to them, what has been so freely given to me.

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Heb 3:13

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