Today I have been thinking about ways to encourage people; ways to help others during this pandemic climb out of anxiety, stress, and discouragement. I was also thinking about what Christmas gifts “Be Someone’s Rainbow” I could buy for my husband that would be more meaningful than yet another sweater. The two thoughts collided when I went downstairs and saw my granddaughter Ellison’s artwork on the corkboard in our playroom.
You may not be able to read this but it says: Be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
Ahhh… what every grandmother wants to see. A granddaughter who is dialed into other people’s needs – and she truly is. As I gazed at her drawing, I decided to google the saying and see if I could find my husband something online with this quote for his office. He is an avid cloud photographer. I have cloud pictures he has taken all over our breakfast nook. He gets up on the weekends before the sun rises and takes pictures of clouds. Often we walk down to an old bridge when the sun sets together to take pictures of the sunset and yes… more clouds. When the clouds are too near the horizon, the sky does not light up and create the best photo opportunity. But when the clouds are in just the right place above the horizon, but not too close, and they light up with the sun setting, it is magical.
Have you ever thought about being the rainbow in someone’s cloud? Have you ever considered ways to encourage your friends, your colleagues at work, your family members? Sometimes we have to ponder ways to reach out to those who are under a cloud of depression or anxiety, or fear. We must help others not lose heart.
So we do not lose heart, though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Afflicted. That is the word I was looking for as I pondered ways to help others. The definition of afflicted is persistent pain, great suffering. Afflicted. This is a good description for the year 2020.
Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
This is what Jesus did. He bore our afflictions on the cross and reminds us that in this world we will have trouble, but that He has overcome this trouble.
How can we be someone’s rainbow amidst their affliction? We can reach out when we have a holy nudge to call them. We can send a note, we can pray, or take a meal. Seek the Lord on their behalf. Loving our neighbor may require sacrifice, but the rewards of helping someone in need outweighs any inconvenience. Jesus went willingly to the cross. He expected his friends, to stay awake and pray. They fell asleep. He admonished them because this was the hour in which they were needed.
Is there someone who needs your encouragement? Resist the temptation to procrastinate and reach out. This may be the hour of their greatest need.
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