Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Encouraging the Discouraged
I was feeling discouraged this week by a number of things: the kids’ being sick, negative comments made by complete strangers, and the rejection of one of my most precious manuscripts.
It’s funny how you realize, while facing adversity yourself, that you can’t seem to give yourself the advice you would give others in the same situation. Yet, what bore me up were all those little things my friends said to try to make me feel better. Even just the fact that they were trying was a help.
Often one feels put in an uncomfortable position when trying to think of what to say to a person in need of comfort. If you ever were on the silent end of a phone while a friend grieved the death of a loved one, you know what I mean.
But anything is better than nothing. Even what you might think of as “lame” helps to bolster. Those little pebbles fill in the gaps between the more substantial rocks. And when you speak the truth in love, that forms one of the boulders your friend will lean on for support.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.”
Sirach 6: 14-17 (NAB)