Thursday, September 9, 2010

An encouraging word

Last weekend my family and I went to see Get Low. It's a wonderful film, and I highly recommend it. Because of that film, I guess, I've had funerals on my mind.

Funerals have always puzzled me a bit. A lot of the traditions surrounding a person's death seem strange to me. I suppose it's good for us to have a time devoted to remembering a person who died, as well as a time to "pay our respects" to the family of "the deceased." (See? Funerals even have their own language.)

image courtesy obit-mag.com


One of the things that especially intrigues me is the tradition of delivering a eulogy for the dead person. Perhaps it makes us feel better to say good things about the person who died; perhaps it simply heightens the grief. I'm not sure.


Yesterday, I ran across this quotation from Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century Congregationalist minister. No doubt he performed many funerals and delivered many eulogies in his day. Here's his advice:

Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving cheering words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled by them.

And it occurred to me that this is one of the things I love about blogging. Blogging seems to bring out such a sense of encouragement among people. If you've worked hard on a project, written something noteworthy, celebrated a special occasion, or reached a milestone, you can share that event with your readers--and they will "speak approving cheering words." Isn't that a wonderful thing? People will read your story and respond with encouragement. Oh, I know that there's the occasional mean-spirited or snarky comment, but for the most part we use the Comments section as a way to build one another up. And we do it right now, when it matters.

If you ask me, that's a good thing.

Encourage one another, and build each other up. . . (I Thessalonians 5:11).

What's the most encouraging comment you've ever received?

13 comments:

Denise said...

That is one of the great things I love about blogging too.. and thankfully I've never had a discouraging comment, but I know some have. I hope you don't mind but I shared your 'pillow picture' on my blog today. I've linked it back to you and your post. I just love the pillows and really want to make some. Perhaps I should have asked permission first? If you would rather I remove it please let me know. You have inspired me to get cleared up around here, get my sewing machine out and 'pretty up my nest' some for the Fall :-)
Love you.
hugs
Denise

Terri at Finder's Keeper's said...

We all need to be reminded of this truth. Time goes so quickly and it is so easy to take the good things in our lives for granted and especially the good people.

Thank you.

Terri at When God Speaks

Karen said...

I too agree, that comments are what spur me on! Blogging is really new to me. Two months new!
But, I truly enjoy sharing my heart. Having not made really close friendships since moving, blogging has become an encouragement to me. Someone wrote "thanks for gifting us". That was very humbling, I thought lady you have read someone else and commented on the wrong blog. But, I do pray and ask the Lord what to share and where my blog trails need to lead me. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Karen @ Places of my Heart

Rachelle said...

Great post Richella!

That's what I love about blogging too. You don't realize how big the community really is until you start doing it. There's SO many women out there that want to hear the same things as you do, want the same outlet, need the same support. Love it. And, even though it's HUGE I feel like it's tight-nit enough that you know your "friends" online really care.


None of that probably makes any sense. :) But it did in my head!

Happy Thursday!
xo
Rachelle

Dawn said...

oh, that i one of the reasons i love you. encouragement. another? you are one smart cookie! thanks for reminding me how precious the "now" is...

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

We are supposed to lift each other up and it's an incredible experience in blogging, isn't it! I'm at a loss when people are mean spirited - although I understand it stems from low self esteem - and I guess that's why I love the positive, supportive community called blogging.

My post from yesterday drew so many wonderful, supportive comments for my friend that's had a rough time. She doesn't blog yet her story, that she so generously let me share, touched so many women.

We are all connected for a reason.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What a great tie in!! And a wonderful quote too. The encouragement I find in blogging, and the encouragement I receive, is one of the best things about blogging!!! Back when I thought we were going to have Michaela Byrd visiting with a Richmond specialist, Linda from Craftaholics offered to have us stay/visit with her...and she'd never even met me. I was so encouraged by the way she reached out to me. :)

Holly said...

I've had lots of encouraging comments; I can't think of one in particular that really stands out. Any comment that indicates that someone read and/or liked what I wrote or did encourages me!

And I think funerals are strange too. On the one hand, it's closure and all that for the family. On the other hand, I think it's kind of unfortunate that the family has to stand around for a couple days while people file past their loved one lying in a coffin, and have to chat and make small talk with the visitors, tell the story over and over again, and all that. :/

Southern Lady said...

I agree with you, Richella; we should encourage each other daily and not hold back any words of sweetness from those around us. Thanks for the wonderful reminder. Carla

Nikole Hahn said...

Blogging is line an online public journal where when you fall the reader can see God pick you up. It's a wonderful way to encourage another.

HeathahLee said...

I don't remember off the top of my head the most encouraging comment, but it either came from my best friend, Kat, or you. And that's the honest truth. Love this post!

Laura said...

I recently got my first snarky comment! I was so taken by surprise! I have been enjoying sweet encouraging comments from wonderful bloggers, and snarky rudeness was a shock!

I am so happy to have found such a sweet community to be a part of. Hope I can be as encouraging as you and so many others are to me!

Mary Joy said...

I love this!!! God has given us such a wonderful humbling opportunity to share His encouragement with the people we encounter while blogging! I have received so many supportive and encouraging comments in my time as a blogger...they have lifted me up when I really needed to hear it and humbled me beyond words by the way they share God as touched their hearts through me. All I know is that its all such a blessing! Thanks for stopping by today! Its wonderful meeting you!!!

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