In our sponsorship through Children's Hopechest of an orphan at the Ludlati Care-point through the local Known To Me ministry, we have been involved in helping to raise up and support a community of those who care for, and educate children who would otherwise go without food or likely die or prostitute themselves for survival. The local ministry has been able to send a team over the past two years to work in-country with the native discipleship staff and care-givers and I was immediately drawn to this work when I heard of it. Two years ago I thought the timing was right for me to go but God began closing the doors and I now know why, though at the time I was discouraged. This time I see the doors opening and I know God is making the way.
As I am daily in earnest prayer and preparing my heart for this journey, I often find myself reading through the extensive writings of those who have gone before me. Many are writings that I glossed over previously, convincing myself that I did not have time to read. I was mistaken. The website, http://www.knowntome.net/ is an excellent resource for opening one's eyes to the realities of the James 1:27 commission and seeing this commission being fulfilled by local people. What I find myself in continual amazement of is the profound wisdom I continue to encounter in these, my brothers' and sisters', heartfelt postings. Some are brief, only a few paragraphs. Some, more like myself, feel compelled to share weighty or lengthy issues that are on their hearts. All are good, very good. I have discovered that in digging through these, there is a veritable treasure trove of golden wisdom couched in the paragraphs for any who will take the time to look.
But then another thought has come to me. "I wonder if these who have freely shared their burdens, their hearts, shared what God has spoken to them in a quiet time of meditating or pondering Him, I wonder if anyone has ever said 'thank you' ?" I would be a liar if I were to say I occasionally did not wish my ramblings on this thread would benefit someone other than myself. I've stated before that I view this as more of a personal journal that I feel God nudging me to share than some great exposition of knowledge or wisdom for the masses. To be honest, I don't know what to do with praise or the "atta boy" or even "thank you" other than to sheepishly say "you're welcome" so I am often most thankful that I don't have to wrestle with this.
I don't think anyone of the writers that I have been reading through think themselves an author to the masses either. I would hazard to guess that they, like myself, appreciate that they may have helped someone or shared something that was beneficial to another. But often when you are struggling with something, that is when God speaks most deeply to you. Very often, in those times of faith building, the most profound of revelations are made known, the "hidden truths" and suddenly your eyes and your heart are opened to the Word like never before. To share this would be everyone's inclination because it is transformational. It is life! But how many of my brothers and sisters have done just that and found that their writings, their efforts, their "voice in the wilderness" have simply fallen into the air; have hit the wall of apathy?
I realized something in this examination. I do not encourage others nearly enough. I'm not talking about the Sunday "glad to see you", "how are you" encouragement. I'm not even talking about the "good job" encouragements that can even fall easily from our lips or roll off of our fingertips onto the keyboard. I'm talking about the "I see you. I know you. I deeply and truly appreciate you. Thank you for sharing a part who you are with me" encouragement. For me this means maybe I need to not let so many of these postings go unanswered without comment. Scrolling through KTM's site alone most of them are unanswered, though there are solid topics and good insights in all of them. Reading through the linked postings I find I appreciate the heart of others more than I thought possible in simple face-to-face conversation. There is a ministry of honest encouragement and we all need to be involved in it because everyone needs it from time to time.
So I have come to this conclusion. I will endeavor to know my brothers and sisters better, know them through their writings. This is very often their heart, their intellect, their soul in written form. Often where spoken words fail, written words pour forth so I will know them and encourage them when opportunity arises. We are one body in Christ and I want my fellow body members to know they are appreciated and loved. What is truly amazing about this is that I ultimately gain the benefit of God's Wisdom in Others.
"Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others."