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Elon Musk may currently have the corner on new energy sources but there’s an untapped and unlimited energy source available that’s powerful and efficient.

Last week I was walking through the mission to meet someone in our courtyard. While I was there I noticed a man with a spray bottle and rag cleaning the area. My attention kept getting drawn to him because of the effort in which he was putting forth and the quality of his work.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 16:24

I didn’t recognize this man. As I was leaving I went over to him and introduced myself. Then I told him how grateful I was for the job he was doing. I wanted him to know how important his task was due to the fact that over the past year we have had over 200 cases of covid, 4 deaths, and almost continual quarantines.

Then I added that I was so impressed with the manner in which he was doing his job. As I moved closer and looked him in the eyes I added, “I don’t think I have ever seen anyone put such energy into cleaning the building. You are such a conscientious worker. I just thought I should tell you how impressed I’ve been watching you work. Thank you for caring for us all by taking your job seriously.”

Then I left.

Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word.

This week I saw him a second time. He was in a hallway talking to a mutual friend. He told his friend, “Hey this is the chaplain I was telling you about but couldn’t remember his name.” He had just joined the Christian Life Recovery Program. His friend said, “Well this is Pastor Dan.”

Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

He got very excited and said, “Pastor Dan, I was telling my friends all week about what you said to me when I met you last week in the courtyard.” Then he got very serious as he looked my in the eyes he added, “I want you to know your comments that day took me by surprise. Those were the kindest, most encouraging words anyone has ever said to me in my entire life. I’ve been telling my friends all about our conversation that day.”

My jaw dropped into my K95 mask!

Be the reason someone smiles today.

We shared a few other thoughts and then I had to leave… but those words have stayed with me all week. At first I thought this is just a little encounter and hardly worthy of being the subject of a blog. Then God weighed in and impressed me that it might have been a little gesture to me but it was a BIG moment for him.

Being intentional and generous with encouragement is an untapped, unlimited energy source that can bring hope, and strength, and well… energy to people who rarely, if ever, hear positive reinforcement.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

It’s my hope that this little story encourages you to encourage others. Words of encouragement have power to heal, to comfort, to confirm self worth, to inspire good deeds, and to bring the seeds of hope to someone who might be running on empty.

Be proactive, and look for someone who serves you or seems to be invisible to others and find something to say that is truthful, specific, and positive. Be generous with encouragement… it’s a limitless resource that generates positive energy in others and yourself. Keep your eyes open for who God might lead you to encourage this week.

Encouragement is oxygen for the soul

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