The power of encouragement

March 7, 2012

encouragement

Encouragement is powerful!  It can change a person’s day.  It can change a person’s life!  I have definitely experienced the power of encouragement in my life on many occasions.

A while back I came across an incredible story on the power of encouragement.  I do not know who wrote it so I am unable to acknowledge the author. This story was an encouragement to me and I trust it will be an encouragement to you as well:

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first took at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

We are living in a world where sometimes encouragement is hard to find. Each of us has our own trials that we are facing but there is tremendous happiness in making others happy.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

How has your life been impacted by encouragement?

Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

18 responses to The power of encouragement

  1. I remember the first time I heard that story, it gave me chills…it gave me chills again today. Thanks for reminding me of this beautiful and inspiring story.

  2. What a wonderful story Kevin! The first part of it reminded me of that movie The Bucket List – I loved that for how the two unlikely friends made such a difference in each others lives!

  3. I agree that this is a beautiful post. Encouragement should be like breathing. We receive and we give. We are all connected to each other, our lives always have hills and valleys and can use some fuel when the going gets rough–appreciation is that fuel. We can all make a difference.

  4. Thanks for an inspiring post. Encouragement serves as an inspiration to every person. This is a booster to take some risk in order to achieve one’s goal in life. Especially when it comes from a friend, you feel like you are not alone.

  5. Such a beautiful story! A blind man could see the world sometimes more beautiful than it is! Thanks for this lovely story, I think I’ll tell it my friends, it’s so wonderful, in a sad way, but wonderful.

  6. WOW Kevin

    This was just Great,it lift me up more than i thought.

    As we know we need to live from with in and not from with out and this is just a great example to show that you can life from with in.

    This is more than just a story it is a lesson for ever one.

    Thanks for Sharing it with us.

    Regards
    Theuns

  7. Kevin, what a beautiful and enlightening story. Encouragement is an important energy that we must give to one another. When I wrote about it a few weeks ago, people responded by soul searching and asking themselves who do they seek for encouragement. It was through those responses, that I had to ask myself the same question.
    I knew it was my husband, that was a given, but I started noticing others around me that encourage me. People I work along side with on the internet, A women’s group I am in, etc.
    I made a list of all those people, hence I have 50 people I never realized that encouraged me.
    Great story!
    Donna

  8. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful stroy Kevin. Encouragement is something that makes us all press forward. There are days I just feel like giving it all up, then I se a kind word from a friend. It makes it all wothwhile.

    BTW, thanks for all the wonderful posts you diligently compose :)

  9. This was encouraging, yes. But a heart-breaker, too. Just overwhelmed with sadness. I’ll be processing this for some stretch of time. Amazed at the man’s ability to be used beyond belief in blessing someone else.