Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.—1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)

It was yet another lonely day when the telephone rang. I did not know the person at the other end of the line, but she explained that we belonged to the same church and that she had heard of my ill health. She asked if I would appreciate a regular phone call and, perhaps, someone to pray with. I gladly accepted, thanking God for this woman’s compassion and faithfulness.

At the time, this woman was busy managing a household with school-aged children as well as operating a small home-based business. But she made a point of calling every few days and asking how I was doing. Even if she only had a few minutes to spare, her regular phone call was a lifeline for me. It reminded me that I had not been forgotten and allowed me to connect with someone.

After 16 years of being virtually housebound, I am still receiving phone calls from this faithful woman of God who has now become a very close friend. And as a result of her act of love and service toward someone she did not know, I have learned the importance of caring for others.

Prayer: Compassionate God, thank you for the care you show us through the loving actions of others. Help us share your love and encouragement in the same way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thought for the day: Whom can I encourage with a phone call today?

—Bronwyn Ashton Winch, Australia