Creating Space for Encouragement

cafe tableI sat across the table from her, wondering how to subtly wipe my nose. I knew I didn’t have any Kleenex along. I didn’t expect to cry this much.  

It was a holy conversation. The kind that digs deep and hits at what is underneath the layer that is underneath the other layer that is way underneath what is showing on top.


I walked away feeling more encouraged than I had in a long time.


The encouragement didn’t come from the words that were spoken, but the space that was made.


She asked me the kind of questions that demonstrated how much she was listening. Not just to the words I said, but to what was behind the words I said.


She saw me. And she created space for me to see God.


Being the kind of person that brings encouragement to others runs so much deeper than saying nice words. It means being a person who sees others, listens to others, communicates with others, and walks beside others towards God’s loving embrace.


Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: ENCOURAGEMENT. (Note: I spend only 5 minutes on the writing, but I do take a little extra time to put together the image. I can't help myself.)

The words of the reckless, the tongue of the wise

Words are used as weapons everyday. Sometimes this hurt is inflicted on purpose. Often times, the damage is accidental.  

Regardless of intention, words have tremendous power to wound us.


"The words of the reckless pierce like a sword." - Proverbs 12:18a


According to this verse, the blogging world and Twittersphere could be described as a war zone.


I had the opportunity to preach about this Proverb this past Sunday. And the key to understanding that lies in the second half of the verse. (You'll have to listen if you want to find out what that is.)


If the reckless pierce with words, what do the wise do?


Take a listen if you are interested!


It's called "Words."

(Heads Up: my microphone went out a few minutes into the message. There is a period of silence as they got me a new one. Ironically, we were recruiting for tech volunteers...)