I have been anxiously waiting to share this bit of God’s good humor.
Loud music coexists with much laughter, the bumping bass of the passerby, and strong aromas of cheeseburgers and blossoming crepe myrtles fill the air. This is a common scene of downtown Clemson, SC. Here, we college students find comfort in the hustle and bustle of the cramped streets and rambunctious activity. Weekly, a group of friends and I walk to a Clemson sushi bar called 356, where we seek procrastination at its strongest alias: shagging. It is great. 50-70 sweaty bodies cranking that yank to Build Me up Buttercup.
My Sperries were constantly sliding across the floor, while I spinned my girlfriend swiftly into my arms. A couple of spins and pretzels later we repeated our favorite moves- adding a dip or two. Next, we switched partners. It is was so much fun. Generally, each person remained totally consumed in sync with their partner. Hysterical laughing made its way into the room. It is also here, the occasional shag casa nova put me to shame.
I spotted a girl about my age standing in a corner. A little bit larger than today’s ridiculously thin society, she sported extremely thick wire rim glasses, subtle acne and a strangely patterned red dress. She stood there tapping her feet off rythm, nervously caressing the dress’s bright fabric.
She felt so uncomfortable, so out of place.
Typically, a majority of guys would ask the “pretty” girls to dance. And to be honest, this girl did not stand a chance. Perhaps she would have to endure another awkward monday.Taking a break from hurling my friends around, gaining composure, and wringing out my drenched t shirt, I walked over to the bar where she was standing alone. Suddenly, we made eye contact. I felt really weird. I did not want this to happen. I walked away from the bar thinking this girl was screaming for help.
And then it hit me.
God exclaimed, “Don’t you dare forsake her…” leaving the situation up to me.
My heart started racing, palms sweating, and mind thinking, “Chase. Just do it!?”
Moments later I found myself tapping her on the shoulder, taking her hand in mine and asking her to dance with me. Sweet Caroline played over the speakers. And just I as I suspected she was a horrible dancer haha. However, she never stopped talking to me (the whole entire song.) But, for some odd reason I did not mind. All her goofiness dissolved away, and for that particular song I felt like we were best friends. She encouraged me. She genuinely wanted to know how my day was. In the blink of an eye the song was over. We both nodded and I thanked her for the dance. I wanted to think it made her night like it did mine.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to spur on- to give help. Romans, perhaps one of the New Testament’s most encouraging books, declares the prophecy of courage and encouragement. Below are a few verses that inspire us to have no fear of God’s will, but to carry it out. In Romans 15:7,
" 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
"19So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
These short verses beckon us to remember to do what is right in God’s eyes, and love one another as ourselves like in Matthew 22. So I charge you to encourage someone as soon as possible, so that when you do, you will experience the love Jesus gave us. I guarantee it.