Am I crazy or does it seem like there are more people than ever hurting, struggling, wounded, waiting and praying for healing, new life, a meaningful job, or direction…?
At different moments we are either in a barren, thirsty, get-me-the-heck-out-of-this- desert time or walking alongside someone who is.
As hard as it is to be the one in it, the walking alongside role is also challenging. We want so much to say the “right thing”, DO anything to fix the situation or alleviate the pain.
I’ve written before about my deficiencies in the mercy department, but I’ve learned some by being on the receiving end of thoughtful expressions of love when I was at my lowest.
Of course I was grateful for faithful friends who would call and just listen. I needed safe people with whom I could process all my crap with ugly cries. But there were also those who gave me meaningful pictures of their hope for me.
One of those was a pot of rocks with a bulb planted in it. The note said “I know this looks really barren and ugly right now, a little like a picture of how your life feels. But I’m trusting God to do a new thing…to transform this hard thing into one of beauty. I pray as this bulb starts to grow and flower it will be a reminder of the beauty God wants to bring out of your ashes.” This was visible hope and it strengthened me.
Another friend, made a soft prayer shawl for me, saying that she had prayed as she knit it and hoped I would wrap it around me on cold evenings as a reminder that I was surrounded with God’s love.
My friend, Lee (who’s written here before), is creating a company with a new product that I think may provide another picture of hope, or joy, or encouragement for others. It’s a workout clothing company, but NOT one of those cheesy, obnoxious “Jesus is my wingman” in big block letters on your chest kind. It’s called Branded By J. Otto, and they are beginning a Kickstarter campaign.
Here’s how their idea works. You hop on their website and shop by theme. The themes are printed on the outside of the garment and represent life events we all have in common.Scripture has been carefully matched with the appropriate theme. They have something fitting for any situation. The scripture is on the inside of the article.You have a chance to include a personal message. The recipient will also receive a link to an inspirational video explaining the verse on their garment. The person you want to encourage will have a reminder of God’s care and yours each time they wear the clothing.Lee writes:
I think what we have created is worth sharing. I think what we have created will meet people where they are and help them take their next step of faith. I think what we have created comes from a deep place in our souls.