It was barely ten o’clock in the morning, and we’d already drive three hours to Managua, shopped in the market, and were saying goodbye to our host-pastor Manolo.
Manolo thanked us for coming to Nicaragua, encouraged us in the work we had done for the Lord, and affirmed Neal, our trip leader.
Sitting beside him on the overfull school bus, I patted Neal’s knee and confirmed that Manolo’s words were true.
“Thanks,” he said. “It sure is nice to hear it sometimes.”
There was a fair amount of bantering happening in our seat of the bus, yet there was also truth in his words.
As much as I love Neal, even agreeing with Manolo was uncomfortable for me.
I guess I held the mindset that campus ministers were to encourage students, not the other way around.
I was wrong.
Even the most encouraging man I know, needs to be encouraged. Just because they’re good at encouraging does not mean encouragers are above needing to hear it.
A few weeks later, I sat in Neal’s office and told him about how God had used him in my life.
Holding eye contact was hard but forming sentences was harder. I fumbled over words, fidgeted with my hands, and fought the tears. As worship tends to be, it was awkward.
Yet it was also wonderful. It was powerful to look into his eyes and see the appreciation of God-led conversation. It was humbling to hear my voice crack as I tried to tell out loud of how God is working.
Though the conversation was brief, it’s one that I cherish.
This week, find someone who has been influential in your spiritual life, look that person in the eye, and thank him/her specifically for how God is using him/her.
How did intentionally spending time with someone last week go?
What are you looking for?