Hearts to Encourage

Photo purposely blurred
     Tears trickled down my cheeks as I saw the young man's picture.  He standing there in camouflage, arm around his wife.  The same age as our youngest--friends when they were little, spending hours as imaginary superheroes.  Now, this young man was playing a real superhero--the role of his life for his country.  Last week, he was deployed to Afghanistan.
     His Mom and Dad had taken the picture that day before he left.  It came by way of email with the message that he had been sent.  "Please keep him in prayer," it said from a mother's breaking heart. 
     Through blurry eyes, I quickly clicked out my love and support for these friends of ours and promised prayers for them, their son and his wife.  Then I sent a card of encouragement that said, "You've been on my mind, in my prayers, and close to my heart.  That's where you're going to stay."  I tucked my heart inside, wished I could be there in person to give her a hug, but grateful for the card that captured the thoughts in my spirit.
     The picture, the war, the youth stir memories of the year my cousin was in Vietnam.  The letters I wrote, the care packages of home-baked goodies that were sent, the prayers that were said.  I can still see him returning, stepping off the plane in our town's airport.  Anxiousness burst into joy-filled tears as he crossed the tarmac.  Prayers answered, hearts filled, the waiting and worry over.
     Praying that our friends will feel the encouragement sent their way and know our promise of being there for them through the trials as well as the joys.

     Today is National Day of Encouragement.  Someone is waiting to be blessed with your heart words of encouragement. DaySpring has a new Hope and Encouragement line of cards that could help you touch another's heart
     Thank you, DaySpring, for the words of encouragement that were perfect for my friend.  Encouragement can spur us on in the darkest hour, give us hope when despair rushes in like a flood, and touch our hearts with love.  It's the word that says someone cares, someone will be there for you, someone wants to listen and share your burden.  It's a prayer that's breathed to the throne of heaven on your behalf.  A prayer you may not have the strength to say.  Encouragement fills our cup when life has emptied it.

     Linking up with (in)courage as they celebrate the National Day of Encouragement.


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