I saw her standing next to the milk.
Her little girl had chocolate brown eyes and animal cracker crumbs stuck to her sticky face.
I walked by, gave her a small smile and she ducked her head, apologetically making a funny comment about “having to open the cookies just to finish her shopping.”
I knew. I had been there yesterday.. except it was a hastily opened bag of goldfish and my little one was having a very loud “moment” until I distracted her with a snack.
I nodded my head and told her as much.
Immediately, I saw it on her face. Safety. She visibly relaxed and then went on to ask if she could ask me a question.
She did and we talked for a minute about babies and toddlers and how to try to just get them to eat-for-crying-out-loud.
I sensed something in her that I had felt in my own heart a hundred times so I spoke brave to this stranger/ fellow mama.
I said, “Hey you’re doing a good job. You’re just the mom she needs.”
Her eyes filled with tears and she said, “Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m trying.”
She walked away and I wondered if anyone was regularly encouraging her. Anyone in her corner? Telling her she’s a beautiful mom? Smiling at her with kindness?
I missed an amazing opportunity to try to connect with her more, but when I looked for her she was gone.
As I walked away I realized what an amazing gift you give someone when you just…. say something kind. Be a blessing. SEE THEM.
Because, we really never know. We never know what their life is like. What their heart is like.
And it goes far beyond kind words. It’s the Gospel that takes our kindness from self-help to actual words of Life.
Last September, we became intimately acquainted with the ministry of encouragement. Not because we were experts in encouraging others but because we needed a whole lot of encouragement.
And the most undeniably amazing thing we learned? God KNEW exactly what we needed to be encouraged. That’s the True Power of Encouragement. That no matter the form the encouragement comes in, God sees our hurts, our needs, our struggles and He KNOWS. He is Jehovah El Roi. The God who sees.
The God who sees. That puts a whole entirely new meaning and wonder to being encouraged. And to being the encourager.
He is All-Sovereign and All-knowing and He could have chosen a different way to make us, a different way for us to be made– but He did not.
He made us for community and for one another and for Him. We GET to encourage one another. WE GET to be the living love of Christ to others. WE GET to allow the light of the World to shine into and out of our dark places.
We are given the gift of being the Grace Gift to one another.