Christopher Robin spoke kindly words to his dear friend, Pooh, one day. He said, “Remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” It didn’t take much to turn Pooh’s gloom into a song. At other times Pooh was the one to bring a sunny disposition and a smile to the faces and hearts of his friends. Even Eeyore, with all of his negativity, was willing to join in with the others when one of them encouraged him in some small way. Would you agree that a smile, a deed of kindness or some words of affirmation can make a huge difference in someone else’s life?
As Paul wrote to those new followers of Jesus scattered through the whole region where he traveled, he often reminded them that it was extremely important that they take care of each other, that they do good works, and that they encourage one another. He knew that life would be challenging and difficult at many levels for all of them and that they would need each other to remind them of the truth of Jesus’ love for them and of the hope they shared because of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension. While he often spoke of his desires to come and visit them, to counsel and to teach them, he knew that these were the things that they needed to learn to do for each other every day.
By the way, how good is your hearing these days? Is it possible that there are people in your family, among your friends, in your neighborhood, as well as in your church, that are whispering or perhaps even crying out for someone to acknowledge their worth or recognize their situation? Perhaps there is someone who simply needs to know that you care about the way they are feeling or dilemmas that they are facing. Maybe there is a young person who needs to hear you say that you believe in them. What about the clerk or waiter who seems weighed down with life? How could you share their burden? Not one of us can bring hope or guidance or joy to everybody – but we can all do these things one person at a time. Do you agree?