And then I read Ruth 2:10-12. In it, Boaz tells Ruth "may the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." What a blessing to speak over someone!
As a believer, I want to get better at speaking to people and wishing them blessings because I know the power it has. Asking someone how they are doing and taking a few minutes to engage them in conversation goes along way. A student did this to me the other day and it literally shocked me. I probably could've cried then too (I think pregnancy and being a mom has really made me a cry baby but we can talk about that later). I thought he was just going to say the usual hi, how are you doing and go on his merry way. I didn't really feel like talking either so that would've been fine. But he actually stopped and not only asked me how I was doing, but how my son was as well. I asked him about how he was doing and his plans for high school. What a moment. Not only a moment of growth for this particular student but a demonstration of how a few minute conversation can be so impactful. I just felt good afterwards.
We have to stop sometimes. There are too many people who feel hopeless and one word or conversation can make all the difference. Don't think so? Let me introduce you to Kevin Hines.
In 2000, he decided that life was too much and attempted suicide. He took two buses to the Golden Gate Bridge, the second most common place for suicide in the world---a 200ft plunge into the ocean. He had tons of reasons that led him to that moment. But you know what he said on the way there? If one person will ask me how I am doing before I get to the bridge, I won't jump. He cried the entire two bus rides to the bridge. No one on a crowded bus asked him how he was doing or if they could help him. A bus driver kicked him off the bus. In his forty minutes at the bridge pacing before he jumped, a tourist asked him to take a picture. But no one took the time to acknowledge him and his pain. No one asked this man how he was doing even though he was visibly suffering.
So he jumped.
I'm not saying we can save everyone but we can speak to people in genuine ways that shows the God in us and hopefully ignites the God in them. We can do this in our families, in stores, on trains, or when we are out and about in our towns. We can do it when we feel like it but also when we don't. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
There is so much darkness in the world, let us be some light my friends.
Kevin survived his suicide attempt-one of only 34 survivors out of thousands of attempts. An amazing story but that's a discussion for another post about God and all his awesomeness though.