Today I got a parcel in the mail. A packet of coffee beans, and a note. A few weeks ago I mentioned to my friend that my flat had run out of beans, and so she sent me a a mini-care package to top up our supply. What a legend! Not only was I thrilled to have (more) coffee, but I realised how blessed I am. How abundant the love that I am surrounded with is. I am lucky!
When I left Auckland, I was dreading leaving my friends. We had been through thick and thin, the highs and the lows, the exciting and the boring parts of life. And now, I was going to be moving 700 km south, only to see them once every 4 months. But what I have learnt from them both since moving away is, perhaps, worth the separation.
I have learned that no matter how far away someone is, a few words of encouragement can brighten a day. I have learned that despite the wonders of telephones, email and Skype, to receive a letter is to speak straight to the soul. I have learned that it is commitment and faith that holds a relationship together. And I have learned that in the dark moments, a few words, a thought, or a prayer can make all the difference.
Think about those who you come in to contact with every day. Do you take them for granted? Do you assume that you will always be around them? What about those you are far away from. Have you recently made the effort to find out how they are, to ask about what it is that they fear, and what it is that brings joy to their heart? A few words of encouragement or affirmation is all it takes to lift me up, and I promise you that nearly every person I know will feel the same way. I struggle with loneliness, like everybody else. I struggle with confidence and contentment. We all do. Share it. Because it is in our relationships that our hopes, fears and dreams can come to fruition, for in community we are at one with creation. We are not designed to be individuals; we are relationally wired. "Love one another as you love yourself." Set yourself a goal of encouraging everybody you talk to, in the smallest or the most overt way that you are comfortable. Be open, and share your thoughts. Serve one another and pray for one another. Teach one another.