I went to get some alterations done on a dress yesterday and the seamstress couldn't have been more complimentary. She praised my marriage, my kids, my figure, even my lackluster, spider-veined legs. She laid it on so thick that when she leaned in and whispered, "You are beautiful," I got so flustered I had to leave.
But here's the thing. I walked out smiling. I liked it! She made me feel like a million bucks! In my head I doubted her kind words were warranted. Hello? I've been living with myself a long time. I've got my number. Yet, I wanted to believe everything she said was true.
I know this woman. I know her character. She was sincere. A bit over the top maybe, but genuine. It is just like her to encourage others this way. No doubt everyone who leaves her feels lighter, more confident, special. It's a gift she uses well.
She reminded me to utter out loud the things I think in my head. If a woman looks great in that shade of blue, I should tell her. If her laugh makes me smile, shouldn't it be made known? When I admire how her hair shines in the sun, I should say something. If I appreciate her soothing voice or gentle words, why don't I speak of it? She should know if I notice how white her teeth are or how healthy her tan makes her look. If standing in her presence brings me peace, she may like hearing about it. Some may scoff as I did, but I'm certain a fuzzy glow will go with them.
I walked by a total stranger Saturday who was all dressed up, I guessed, for a wedding, maybe even the mother of the bride or groom. Her dress sparkled and she looked so classy waiting for her ride I couldn't help but say something. And you should have seen her face.
"Thank you," she said, "that's nice of you."
I hope she walked into her wedding a little taller, confident in who she was because in my eyes she was beautiful. And if I thought it, what was God thinking?
Yesterday, when I didn't know what to do with all the nice things the seamstress said, she told me to accept that God, as the Creator of beauty, is delighted to see me celebrate it. I'm not sure I'm evolved enough to accept that, but I sure hoped the stranger I complimented did.
For when we accept the encouragement of others, it enables us to confidently do what God asks of us.
So thank you my silver-tongued, encouraging, seamstress friend. You give me courage and fortitude to forge ahead confidently in my walk with God and others. You remind me how powerful words can be.
Let's do this together, friends. It's easy to find something you appreciate in another. Don't keep it to yourself. Say it out loud and lift another up. I challenge you to look for one positive thing to say to everyone you encounter today. See how it softens their day.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.