It Only Takes A Minute
We wait in lines at cash registers all the time.
It is interesting to look around and see what people do to pass the time.
Some are people watchers.
Some may read a magazine that is in a rack nearby.
Other people talk to those around them.
Many, if not most, are on their phones.
They are either scrolling through social media or having a conversation.
No one just stands and waits any more.
My youngest daughter and I were in line at the cash register.
We were talking together as we waited.
There were two women in front of us.
Even though they were together, they were each paying for their own things.
The one woman was called forward to make her purchase.
The other woman turned back to us and smiled.
The woman looked at my daughter and said, I love you’re hair.
My daughter thanked her but before she could finish the woman spoke again.
And I love your hair, she said turning to me.
I love the silver; I really want that myself, she said.
I’m 35 years old, she said, and my siblings have some gray in their hair.
I want it, too, but I don’t have any yet, she added.
You don’t look like you’re 35 years old, I said and meant it.
I just love the look of the silver in your hair, she said again.
She had a lovely accent and I asked her about it.
I am from the Dominican Republic, she told me.
Her accent and the way she spoke sounded like music.
She spoke Spanish to the other woman at the cash register.
Before I could blink, she was speaking in English to us.
I love that girl’s dress, she said pointing to a young mom at another register.
I love the way it is longer in the back, she explained.
She looked down at the dress I was wearing and smiled.
I like them a bit longer in the back too, I said touching the side of my dress.
We discussed all the reasons we liked having our dresses a bit longer in the back.
The woman continued to talk to us, telling us she had a 15 year old daughter.
How delightful it was to talk to this woman with the beautiful accent.
For the few minutes we were conversing, all we did was mutually encourage each other.
How wonderful it was.
My daughter and I left the store smiling.
My youngest daughter is interviewing for jobs since graduating from college.
In the meantime, she is working at a coffee shop not too far from home.
She was hired as a barista, even though she had no prior experience.
Others who work there, have worked in coffee shops before, but my daughter has not.
There is always a learning curve with any new job.
This job was no different.
In fact, much of her learning has been on the job training.
When it gets busy, certain times of the day, she is really testing what she knows.
She came home from work and talked about parts of her day.
A man came in and ordered a latte, she said, along with something to eat.
As he waited for his order, he stood near the counter, she continued.
I made his latte and he took a sip, she said.
As he was waiting for his order, he drank the rest of his latte, she continued.
He came back up to the counter.
That was the best latte I ever tasted, he said.
Thank you, she said, that means a lot.
I’m new; I’ve only been here a month, she admitted.
I know you’re new, the man said.
Keep up the good work; this was really delicious, he said as he left the shop.
My daughter was still beaming from his compliment.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
It only takes a minute to encourage someone.
One minute of your time will bless their heart.
If we know that to be true, why don’t we do it more often?
If we know how wonderful it is to be genuinely encouraged, why do we do it so seldom?
We have misconceptions about compliments.
We may think that by complimenting someone else, it will take a little something away from us.
We may think that by letting someone else shine, our candle may dim or go out altogether.
We may think, at times, that it is all about us.
The young woman with the lovely accent did not think that way.
The man in the coffee shop did not think that way, either.
Each freely gave encouragement with their words and with a smile.
Each made the recipient of that encouragement feel special.
Who can you encourage today?
Whose candle can you make shine a little brighter?
Who will smile because your words touched their heart?
What chain of events might your words of encouragement begin?
The world may say, it is all about you; you deserve it.
However, God’s Word says the opposite.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
It only takes a minute.
The effects of your words will ripple out who knows where?
Who can you encourage today?
Someone needs to smile.