Lord, give me strength! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the stores are crowded with last minute shoppers...like me. Honestly, all I could do, as this lady on a motorized shopping cart almost mowed me down, was shake my head and say to myself, "What was I thinking!" I mean, am I the only one who waits until the last minute? What about you? Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
Sometimes, life can be so hard and it seems almost impossible to feel a heart of thankfulness. Especially, during this season. Just watching the news lately, is enough to depress anyone! I don't know what your life looks like right now as you read this, and I'm certainly not going to give you a cutesy, cookie-cutter message here. The world is hurting right now! I have friends who are going through so much at this moment, dealing with addictions, sickness, and for some...homelessness. I imagine that you also have friends and family that are struggling as well. With that said, I want to share with you what I did this morning.
I was taking my sister's dog for a short walk and I ran into my neighbor, who was just getting home from a busy morning...another last minute shopper. I didn't want to hold her up because I saw that she was clearly busy. Still, something inside of me urged me to give her a word of encouragement. Now, I'm not going to spill all her business on this page, but I know that she's dealing with a lot of hardships right now, and that a little upliftment just might be more healing for her, than my worrying about bothering her. I wonder how many people would love to be 'bothered' right now, just to know that someone cares about them and that they are not alone...especially during the holidays.
"Good morning!" I blurted out, as my neighbor was getting bags out of her car.
"Hi," she responded. To my surprise, she started walking towards me, grocery bags in tow. We talked for about ten minutes or so and half way through our conversation, I immediately knew that she really NEEDED someone to talk to. I'm so glad that I didn't give in to my discomfort of worrying about bothering her! I also found that we both ended up encouraging one another. How 'bout that!
The Bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust. Basically, no one in this world is exempt from trials. Here, on this cool, Thanksgiving-eve morning, stood two busy women, worn out from life, and both seeking real human connection. We shared similar stories...same problems, different address. We even laughed a bit. Hmmm!! I wonder when was the last time my neighbor laughed. We both found comfort and comradery in a crowded world where one person can still feel so utterly alone. Before walking away, I said to her that if she needed anything that I was just next door. She smiled in response and said, "That is good to know."
I don't have to personally know you to understand that life happens to all of us. The truth is, sometimes we just need someone to interrupt our day and sincerely ask,
"How are you?" Whether your house is busting at the seams right now with family or you're home alone, I want you to know that I wrote this blog in an effort to create a real human connection with you. If it touches you or encourages you, then it fell on the right pair of eyes. We may not live next door to one another, but we are still neighbors in every sense of the word. Right? I hope you believe that too because I'd love to pray with you, if I may. I know you're probably super busy right now, but this will just take a moment.
"Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus, and I pray for this beautiful reader right now. Lord, I don't know what they are struggling with, but I pray that Your Grace will carry them through every trial. Even in the fire, I pray that they will know that You are standing in the fire with them and that they will get through this! Lord, they may even be asking You why they are going through so much right now. I pray that they have an encounter with your Love and your Peace! The holiday season has the ability to amplify grief, loss, and loneliness. I ask Father, that you send laborers of your amazing Love into this reader's life, to encourage them and remind them that they are truly Loved! It's in Jesus name we pray. Amen!
"Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!"