Sunday, 23 August 2009

Adventures in encouragement

I’ve never really thought much about ‘prophecy’ or ‘words of knowledge’ or anything like that. It’s not tangible enough for me – not certain.

Encouragement, on the other hand – that’s easy.

Encouragement is a quiet chat; sending a card; inviting someone for a cup of coffee.

Encouragement is a thoughtful gift: a book, a bunch of flowers, a cake.

Encouragement is good words.

Good words are not just words I think are good. The ‘nice’ comments. Good words are words which speak with meaning.

I’m learning to trust those words of meaning. I’m learning to speak those words, even if – sometimes, especially if – they make no sense at all. To me, anyway…
A cup and saucer; a golden arrow; the gangplank of a cruise ship; a chicken shed destroyed by foxes. Such are the peculiar images that come to mind when I pray.

(These are not just random thoughts, but persistent ideas which crop up when I am praying, or praising with music, or reading the Words. Thoughts which God brings to my attention, almost as if he is saying: What about this, then?)

All bizarre.

All made sense - to the hearer. Those who heard were encouraged that God has His finger on their lives. He knows every detail.

I’m also learning that there are no blindingly obvious opportunities to share these little thoughts. I’m learning that I never know for certain when I’m supposed to share ‘my’ random thoughts. I’m learning that Tentative, Hesitant and Unsure are my companions in this game.

When these are with me, then, even though I am uncertain and unsure, the words are usually meant. And right. I know that I offer the words into potential void, and I pray that if they are irrelevant or unhelpful in any way, that they will drop away and be forgotten.


PS I'm learning, also, not to leave ANYTHING out just because it sounds silly. Twice recently I've done that, only to realise that I needed to give EVERYTHING. not to edit. I'm just a messenger, not The Author and Editor.

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