A couple of months ago, I received a phone call from a young mom named Brandy over in Albertville, AL, a town about an hour and 15 min. or so from where I live in Huntsville. She had gotten my name and phone number from a mutual friend of ours and had called to asked if I would be interested in teaching one of four Ladies Bible Classes that she would be having in her home over the summer months. Would I be interested?!!! Would I be interested?!!!! I was tickeled to death that she called and asked!
That class took place this past Tuesday at Brandy's home and a group of about 15 ladies primarily from the Albertville area were there. There were kids galore that played together outside while we had the class inside. The lesson that I presented was centered around the concept of encouraging one another and based on the Bible character, Barnabas. Although I was probably there to encourage them, I walked away from that class feeling as if I had been the one who had received the encouragment. A sweet group of ladies, young and old, trying to do right, welcomed me into their presence with open arms and loving hearts, eager to listen to what I had to say. How could my courage not be strengthened?
I read a short story to the ladies that exemplified encouragement to me. I'll share that story with you.
A few years ago, at the Seattle Secial Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other 8 heard the boy cry; they slowed down and looked back. Then, they all turned around and went back...every one of them. One little girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better". Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Isn't that exactly what our family in Christ should be like? Shouldn't we be linking arms and helping one another get across the finish line? God didn't put us here to go it alone. He gave us each other. Lets love each other enough to make room in our busy lives for each other. Let's love each other enough to say, " I won't leave you behind."