I was working with a young man in his early 20’s who had a terrible driving record and had failed to show up to court once before. The charges he faced were related to those two realities; he had not gone on some violent crime spree or anything like that. He was working full-time, taking care of his wife and kids and seemingly trying to do many things right. He was likely going to get jail time (and did), and was very upset.
Legally, our options were very limited. I spent a good part of our consultation time encouraging him in his strengths and affirming his successes. He responded very well with each increasing positive word, shook my hand, looked me in the eye and moved forward optimistically. The frustration and even anger subsided and hope began to take their place. The positive words combated the negative circumstances and vision for the future was restored. All that he had been working for was legitimate and real and the right path; the end of the road was not this situation. He just needed courage to see past the obstacles like so many of us do. Persistence of that optimism will be necessary as it is for all of us as we clear one hurdle just in time to see the one coming next (hopefully we see it ahead of time, anyway).
Please don’t mistake this as bragging . . . the Truth in me just started to come out. This wasn’t an intelligent, thought out decision; it was a by-product of a life transformed by Grace. I wasn’t even really thinking about encouraging too specifically and only recognized it for what it was once it was over . . . yet, that’s what flowed from the Source. That’s how it happens and how it works . . . we are a channel for the things that have been spoken into us and imparted unto us. We give what we have received and the ripple effect is infinite. We don’t purpose ourselves to change the world with a single encounter with another person, we just let the Source of our Hope flow through without blocking with judgment, condemnation or offense. Maybe, then one Life changes a life, which changes a life even if just by one little deposit at a time . . . and on and on.