My super sharp 90-year-old neighbor is an insatiable reader. She gives me her finished books by the sackful.
(Lesson one: Reading is probably better for all of us than watching the “idiot box.”)
(Request one: It can be hard to find great books to read. Share your discoveries, please!)
The latest collection delivered to my door included an older novel by Lori Wick entitled “Sophie’s Heart.” It’s the story of a young woman who makes her way from Czechoslovakia to the States and pours her heart into helping a family in need. One particular line, almost unrelated to the plot, stood out to me and has become unforgettable:
“She had written to her grandmother, but she knew the only thing she would hear back from her was encouragement.”
Are you a grandmother (or grandfather, or aunt, or uncle or…)
(Lesson two: Become a voice of encouragement in the lives of young people in your family!)
Chances are you will be tempted at times to guide, discipline, or re-direct. Perhaps on rare occasions that will be appropriate. But, for the most part, that is the job of their parents. You are in an enviable position. You can assume the delightful and oh-so-important role of indefatigable encourager. (But only if you keep in touch with them!)
This takes effort and thought and prayer. What else, though, could be a more important use of your time?
Have you read to this point and asked yourself, “What good is this? I’m not a grandparent at all.” Here is my simple answer: Find someone—I’m thinking someone young, but really any age will do—and make them the recipient of your encouragement. And once you begin, keep it up! You’ll be changing a life and, most likely, cheering yourself up in the process.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build up each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).