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Just one little uplifting word can carry us...for miles!

by: Claudia Porter

Chalk Dust Applause

"There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause."
George M Adams

I love to notice what people have openly displayed on their refrigerators or around their computers or work places. Never have I seen a framed copy of someone's "You're fired" memo, "F' test, "Dear John" letter, or any other painful reminder of life's many disappointments. Instead, there are "I Love You, Honey" notes, snapshots of catching the big Marlin, "Way to go!" post-its, and "For you, mommy" crayon masterpieces. This patchwork gallery of "lift-me-up" memorabilia shouts something about our nature.

Have you ever seen a headline like, "Several people die of encouragement overdose?" Ridiculous, right? The opposite is more like it. An all-out encouragement famine and depression epidemic permeates most of our lives. Fully encouraged people should be added to the endangered spiritual species list with the whales.

Just one little uplifting word can carry us...for miles.

It reminds me of an experience I had walking one day. Sweating as I walked along my usual exercise path around a lake, I noticed a heart shaped, red sign not usually present. It said, "Avon Breast Cancer Walk". Several more appeared along the way and I realized this special benefit walk had interfaced with my normal beaten trail. "That's cool," I thought, and reflected compassionately on those I knew who had suffered so much with some kind of cancer. My wise, affectionate grandfather; my close friend, co-worker and mother of 3 little children...had both been devoured by the dreaded disease.

Wiping the sweat from my brow, my eye caught something colorful on the ground beyond me a few steps. Someone had taken pastel sidewalk chalk and written in giant letters, "Way to go, walkers!" Then a little further, I came upon another message, "You can do it!" All along the path there were these encouraging chalk-cheers like, "We're proud of you!", "Almost there!" and 'Showers ahead!" It was as though these little etchings had hands and voices rose in applause and supplied fresh inspiration to all to remember the purpose of the journey and to keep going.

Looking intently for the next message caused my gait to pick up and my sense of purpose and joy to increase, even though I wasn't one of the "official" walkers. The sponsors of this event had discovered a vital secret about what all "Walkers in life" need. To get to the finish line of any worthy aspiration, we all require some motivating encouragement to keep us pressing onward in the heat...even if it's just a phrase in disappearing chalk powder appearing on the ground every once in a while.

At one point, the Breast Cancer path went a different direction and I continued on the "unmarked" one. I noticed the glaring absence of those bright little scribbles had slowed down my pace. I really missed the simple chalk dust applause.

This incident became a picture-parable. Words of encouragement along our path, faded scribbles of hope as we pursue our goals and seek to really help another walker make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. In your place of work, be a regular supplier of encouraging words, notes and actions. Just watch how the atmosphere changes.

Claudia Porter, FMIN Partner, FNN consultant, motivational speaker and author, lives in Morrison, Colorado with her husband, Bruce. Together they are pastors and also directors of Torch Grab Ministries, a ministry existing to reach out and bring comfort and compassion to people in crisis. www.torchgrab.org




Claudia lives by this concept--she is an Encourager Deluxe, always helping me to rise above the storms of life with her gracious words! Thank you, Claudia!
by: Bonnie Duell

Dear sister Claudia, its very needful message to those who are in Lord's service, in day to day life a lot more struggles facing in these needy world, yes One Word from the Spirit of God can make a an ordinary men are extraordinary...
[email protected] (FMIN Partner)
by: Pastor Sekhar

Claudia, your message of encouragement is very encouraging indeed and so well expressed, a story I won't forget with a message that will ring in my heart. Thanks Claudia,
Love, Donna Schra
by: Donna Schra

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