It'd been a long day. Not a bad one, just simply LONG. She sighed, thinking about the hours of studying that now awaited her in the library. The idea just drained the strength out of her. That's when she got a glimpse of Ray as he came up the stairs with a mountain of heavy books in his hands. She couldn't but smile at the thought of him with all those books, as if he were ready to give in to the weight.
"Hey you" she greeted.
He smiled a wide smile that made her smile the more "Hey. What's up? Ready for the library?" he wondered, his voice overflowing with enthusiasm.
She nodded "sure. I see you're up for it" she eyed the books in his hands.
Ray laughed heartily "as if I have a choice. You staying till closing?" he inquired.
"Yeah, I guess. Perfect way to spend my Friday night" she said sarcastically as she thought of a thousand things she would rather be doing with family or friends.
"Alright, well we'll go home together, like usual" he suggested with an encouraging smile.
She nodded and they made it into the library, sitting on two tables that were side by side.
After a while of working - or trying- Ray got up with an empty bottle in his hands “I’m gonna go fill up my bottle, wanna come?” he asked her.
She shrugged, anything but these books she thought. It’d been a long day and she just wanted to go home.
They walked out the library where they joked and laughed about silly things. They even had a really quite serious conversation. They met up with other friends to talk and joke around. Eventually, an “I want to fill up my bottle” break turned out to be a two hour break.
They then sat down eating from his stash of candy he always kept close by discussing one thing after another.
“I’m gonna head to the bathroom” Ray suddenly announced.
Without thinking, she made to get up with him but he looked back and said with a big comical smile “Umm…I’d rather go alone this time. I’m not filling up my bottle, I really have to go” he told her referring to the fact that she would walk into the guy’s bathroom with him when he would fill up his bottle.
“Oh,” she stated, embarrassed.
He disappeared and she sat there thinking about her God, how busy her weekend would be and well, everything really. Life had nearly become a routine, most of which involved a lot of studying. She barely ever got the chance to relax, do the things she wanted to do. She barely got the chance to just be her. It was always one thing after another. She couldn’t really complain, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She knew she was blessed…it was just one of those days…
She felt someone touch her hair to see Ray. He smiled at her as he fixed her hairband.
“It looks better this way” he told her.
She smiled “thanks” she told him but right after, her headband fell off.
She looked up at Ray and laughed “thanks a lot”
“What? It looked better. Give it, I’ll put it back” he told her and he did. He took one good look at her and smiled “see, looks much better”.
She got up, “I dunno, I feel like I’ll need a mirror now”
“Trust me, it looks nice. Let me be your mirror” he stated as they started to head back to the library.
As they walked side by side in silence she could feel Ray’s eyes on her and this made her feel self-conscious.
“Um, Ray, could you please stop staring at me, it’s making me feel uncomfortable” she finally told him.
Ray looked surprised “I wasn’t staring at you, I was looking over there” he spoke, looking past her to the other side of the corridor.
She suddenly felt an incredible amount of embarrassment “Oh..” was all she could say.
Ray smiled but she looked away, still feeling embarrassed.
“Well, even if I were staring at you, I’d have a good reason…you’re beautiful” his voice was unexpectedly barely audible so she thought she’d heard wrong.
“Excuse me?” she asked turning to look at him in confusion.
Ray looked away at first, then he turned back to look at her with a small smile “I said, you’re beautiful” he sounded much bolder and he looked her straight in the eyes.
Shocked, she wasn’t sure what to say.
“Um…Thanks Ray, that’s sweet” she spoke but couldn’t help but add in the silence that followed “that awkward moment…” she laughed.
Ray joined in “that awkward moment when your friend says something nice and you don’t know how to respond” he grinned at her.
“Let’s go study” he pulled open the doors of the library.
But the rest of the time spent studying, his words sunk in and she finally realized the gravity of them and the guts it must have taken him to speak them. They’d been genuine words. They had laughed about it, but the words had been genuine and honestly, they had made her day…maybe even her whole weekend.
On their way home, in the dark winter night, she thanked him for those words. They were words she would never forget. Not so much the words themselves, but the lesson behind them and the way they’d made her feel. She smiled, put on her ear phones and looked up at the beautiful dark sky…it was going to be a great weekend. God was good.
Wow, words! Words have so much power. There is power in the words we speak. You can build with your words or you can destroy.
Remember, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23 NIV).
How good is a timely word! How good is a timely word when someone feels weak? How good is a timely word when someone is just having one of those days? How good is a timely word when it is unexpected!
A little secrete, that little story is a true story. More than that, the girl in the story was me. And the guy is a friend of mine (Ray is not his real name). One thing you have to understand, it wasn’t the first time I’d heard those words. I’d heard them countless times from family and certain friends. But “Ray” is not the kind of person. Ray is a ‘matter-of-factly’ kind of person. Ray is one of those people you just don’t expect to say something like that. I mean, it was so unexpected. Yet the words had so much weight. And like I mentioned, I would never forget the impact they had on me that evening and how so much better I felt. And why won’t I forget? Because I would love to make someone else feel as good as those words made me feel.
Let me challenge you today.
Don’t always wait for people to say something nice about you. Say something nice about others. That nice thing you think about them, tell them! Why keep it to yourself? What qualities do you appreciate in the people about you? What is it that they do so well that you never really told them? What is that something unexpected that you know you should tell them? What’s that thing that will blow them away?
Let me challenge you today. Your words will go a long way, trust me! You might not know it when you speak them, but they do.
This week is far from over. Appreciate the wonderful people God has placed in your path in a whole new way. Believe me, when you make someone smile, God smiles down at you! It just warms the father’s heart! Besides, it’s another way of showing Jesus. You can even get them a little something nice to go with the words (why wait for their birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day?).
Enough said, let the challenge begin!
Blessings and love!
God bless you as you are a blessing to others!
Oh and Jesus loves you like it’s nobody’s business, He thinks you’re to die for!