Good morning. It is Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
Many years ago, I was at a staff Christmas party at a local restaurant. At one point during the evening, one of the owners stood and, looking around the room, one by one, said something nice about each employee. There were some great compliments; typical, but sincere. “Great work ethic” “go-getter” “good sense of humor” etc. Then, he looked at me.
“What can I say about Jeanette? She is like an old, pair of worn work gloves.”
You could hear the moans around the room. Someone said, “Geez dude”. There was laughter.
He went on to explain how when you buy a new pair of work gloves, they are stiff, not very comfortable. But soon, they are the perfect fit. They bend in just the right places. They feel comfortable. You can count on them. Without them, your job just isn’t the same. You know you will get the job done because you have a reliable pair of work gloves.
You could not have paid me a higher complement. Those few moments made me smile; I still smile thinking about them. I had never prior or ever since, been referred to as a pair of old, worn work gloves, but it was a compliment, and he meant it as much.
You must keep in mind, although he was a businessman and wore suits most days, his heart was in driving tractor and playing in the dirt. He was most happy when he was excavating something or in some way, making noise and making dust. Having a good reliable pair of work gloves was comfort to him.
What brings you comfort?
About 20 years ago Wendell and I bought a hot tub from a local establishment. The owner’s slogan was “What makes you rush home?” That question has stuck with me for over 2 decades. Is it the comfort of your easy chair or love seat? Is it a retreat to the backyard or garden work? Crafts? Cooking? A special someone? What is that one thing that makes you rush home? What brings comfort?
My online search this morning showed me the following as definitions of the word comfort:
1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint:
2. the easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress:
3. a warm quilt.
1. ease the grief or distress of; console:
I think we can all relate to a time when someone offered us comfort. We were overcome with sadness. We felt helpless and hopeless. We were down, or as my grams would say “had the blues”. It was a dark time in our life, and someone came along and offered us comfort.
I clearly remember such a time. I won’t go into the why, but I was very anxious and worried about a family member. My tummy was in knots and my heart rate would not calm down and he walked up to me and said, “let me pray for you.”
He laid one of his large hands on my head and began praying out loud. It was powerful! And it brought me such comfort.
I love 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. It really is a two-parter.
The first part: who.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”
The second part: why.
“…who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
The God of all comfort comforts us so that we may turn around and comfort others. It’s beautiful.
2 Corinthians 7:6 “Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us…”
My grams’ idea of comfort was a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls.
Some people just know how to comfort others. And those people are most often the people who have gone through a similar experience. Those who have been comforted.
Ask God to allow you to comfort someone today. Ask for those divine appointments whereby through your presence, and words of encouragement, others found hope for today.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid…”