I was employed as a personal chef, preparing a sweet and savory butternut squash soup, when I made the mistake of the year. I put hot, freshly roasted butternut squash into the blender with broth. Then hit the pulse button. Without venting the lid to the blender.
About 10 seconds into the spin cycle, the lid catapulted vertically. Before I could react, I was covered in butternut squash soup. It was soaking my hair; it was in my shoes; it was literally dripping off the tip of my nose.
Worst…it was covering my client’s kitchen. The ceiling, the microwave, the floor, the curtains over the sink…all of it had evidence of orange splatter.
As I stood in the center of the kitchen, covered in what looked like baby poo, I felt the tears start—plus I literally wanted to say a swear word.
Of course, that was the moment that the lady of the house chose to come around the corner. She took in the scene of her chef, and more importantly, her kitchen covered in orange goo…hours before a dinner party. Her reaction? She immediately started laughing. Then she started helping me clean.
To this day, when I think about how to build another up or how to encourage someone, I immediately think of her reaction to my mistake of the year. I think of her example because she found humor in the situation, because she assisted in the aftermath, and because she took the time to build me up. In Romans 14:19 (NASB), we are told “so then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
We’ve all heard advice over the last year of COVID that includes being kind. We’ve all heard reminders that we don’t know what others are going through. We’ve probably all even observed scenarios where a nice gesture would have made someone’s day.
What’s more important than the advice, reminders, and observations is that scripture demands that we encourage each other. In most instances provided by scripture, we are to encourage other believers. In some instances of life, we provide insight into the Christian life and the Gospel when we encourage non-believers. When we encourage the believer or the non-believer, we are making a difference in someone’s day.
In the midst of the butternut squash soup explosion, I was encouraged. I pray this week that you are able to encourage others…and that you notice when others encourage you.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)