Sometimes I think the people in my small group might be pretending

Sometimes I think the people in my small group just might be pretending.

My husband and I spend every Tuesday evening with 5 other couples. We talk about life, work, family, faith. We laugh together, sometimes cry together. We always eat together.  We help each other move or re-roof their home. We just plain do life together. 

Last Tuesday evening we celebrated 2 birthdays of men in our group. So we did what we always do when it’s someone’s birthday-we go around the room and say something we admire, respect or appreciate about the birthday guy. 

Whenever this comes around, everyone kinda rolls their eyes and inwardly (or often outwardly) groans. Like this is some kind of torture and they hate it. But without fail, just like every time before this, once we start, everyone gets in to it. At first, the birthday person kinda looks down and acts all embarrassed. But soon, they are looking whoever is talking right in the eye and soaking it up. 

And why wouldn’t they?  We are bombarded with images everywhere we turn. Images of happy, successful people who travel often, eat the most gorgeous looking meals. Whose homes are always perfectly decorated and kids are always adorable. Often with every swipe of our phone, we feel worse and worse about our normal, mundane life. Our life where we save for 7 years to fly to another country-or even across the country. Where our boss passed us up for that promotion and our laundry is piled up and our kids are throwing spaghetti on the floor. How often does anyone look us in the eye and build us up? Admire us. Tell us wonderful, beautiful truths that give us the strength to keep on. 

I left my friend’s home last Tuesday and challenged myself to do this every day. Why wait for a birthday? I want to be someone who every day, looks someone in the eye and lets them know they are admirable. They are respectable. They have what it takes, spaghetti on the floor and all.

Would you care to join me in this challenge?  Can you even imagine what the world would look like if every one of us-my goodness even half of us, an eighth of us!-would look someone full in the face every day and build them up? Admire them. Encourage them. 

And sure they just might pretend they hate it, just like my small group, but secretly, inwardly you are giving them life.