An encouraging word

“I used to be pretty,” I thought as I caught my reflection in the cafe mirror. Hair that hadn’t been tended since that morning, puffy eyes, the area around my mouth showing the beginning of “parenthesis” (as the drug company ad calls them). I’m trying not to go into this aging process kicking and screaming or visiting plastic surgeons, but I’m not wearing each little line as a badge of honor, either.

I packed up my computer and headed over to the Christian bookstore to pick up a couple of gifts.

I was concentrating on the task at hand when a woman said something as I entered the store. I thought I couldn’t have heard what I thought she said.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” I asked.

“You’re very pretty,” she repeated.

Considering the thoughts that had been in my head just moments earlier, it caught me totally off guard. I felt bad for laughing initially, so I shared with her the monologue in my head from just a few minutes earlier.

Even though I was dissatisfied with my appearance at that moment, her comment bouyed my spirits (I had to push aside the thought that she obviously wasn’t wearing her glasses, so she was missing all the obvious flaws I had just observed.)

We’re often so quick to let others know of our opinions when they’re negative–if we get poor customer service, if someone cuts us off in traffic or is inconsiderate at an event. Even we we determine not to say unkind things, we don’t often show the same degree of determination to say encouraging things.

Wouldn’t it be a nicer place for all of us if we expressed our kind, uplifting thoughts as they occur to us?

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 5:29

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