All of us just want our faces cupped.
All of us.
The young child just stumbling into their own blossom.
The man in a suit with a corner office balancing the ladder climb and the family life.
The single woman pouring out her all in service.
The retired person looking back and looking around and making the most of the years.
And the mom here. The preacher’s wife here. The tender of home and hearts that is typing here…
We all long to be looked straight square in the eyes by those who have forged the path, and held by hands that have weathered seasons, and spoken over genuinely by big brothers and sisters and experienced mamas and daddies in life and faith.
Really, we all just want to be told every once in a while that we are doing the thing well.
It’s easy to allow the flaws and oversights of others to stand highlighted. And it’s easy to form words about weaknesses in people. And it’s hard not to let them fly like darts straight into hearts who really just need a hand to hold their chins.
I understand this. It’s difficult for me too.
But gosh, if we really got it, if we really understood that a word of honest praise can sometimes erase a few of the problems we see in people – we’d be more apt to hearten them every once in a while.
There are times that we have to point out the lapse and vice. Certainly. But they should come much less frequently than the boosts do.
These thoughts come on the heels of a conference I attended this past weekend, where I witnessed this being done so beautifully. An older and experienced mama in the faith, building up, and speaking into, and blowing life into a group of women who are following her path in ministry. As these ladies described being encouraged by her in this way, tears flowed freely from eyes that aren’t always so likely to spill. And it moved me greatly.
We all need our heads lifted and our hearts given hope by people who know or not if we really have what it takes. And them telling you that you do. And then them saying they are proud of you. Imagine!
Even if no one ever does this for us… let’s do it for the ones coming up behind. Just because we may not have had anyone mentoring us in this way, doesn’t mean that we can’t offer it to others. We have God’s Spirit and that’s enough.
Let your words, and your facial expressions, and your attitude toward those in your sphere be marked and known by how they drip with care, kindness, and encouragement. Some admonishment every now and then, yes. But mostly just honest truth, and support, and vigor being poured out over heads and hearts that really need it.
It’s wild what could come from this.
Be on the look out, friends – for opportunities to place your knowing hands around the sweet faces of those laboring hard and truly trying to do all.the.things well.
And as you do, watch them soar.