The adult human body is 60% water (as per Google). When that balance is interrupted, we have developed a range of products that restore moisture to dry skin, chapped hands, dry eyes, dry mouth, dry and brittle hair, etc. I think the happy balance for our overall personal wellbeing is 60% affirmation, whether in spoken words, written notes, hugs, smiles, promotions, pay increases, pats on the back (not on the head!), even gifts or parties or celebrations of achievements, etc. We toast newlyweds at wedding receptions. We honor graduates. We congratulate new parents and first-time home buyers. We hold retirement celebrations. All this fanfare and attention helps to recalibrate that all-important 60%. The fly in the ointment is that there are far more times throughout our lives when we need this restorative treatment than these rather infrequent recognitions. Long, dry stretches with none of the above leads to dryness of soul, weariness of heart, discouragement, sadness, even depression. We’ve been meticulously (and divinely) designed for inter-personal relationships, community, family. And those relationships, when healthy, form the ideal environments in which the ‘moisturizing’ effect of positive feedback and loving attention help us thrive. It’s also the balance needed to grow as spiritually vigorous Jesus followers (if our ‘affirmation factor’ is depleted, we go into survival mode with our parched souls desperately scrambling anywhere and everywhere to get back up to 60%).
May I suggest a remedy? Let’s pay attention to the invitations of the Holy Spirit when he brings someone to mind, and rather than quickly moving on, allowing the suggestion to float off into space, to pause for a moment to discern the ‘why’ of that thought, why that individual, and plan to follow up with something appropriate as we are led. Who knows? We might be involved in the dynamic restoration of someone’s needful 60%! (maybe mine!) Our intention, however small or big, may be the ‘oil’ that moisturizes and launches a revival, not just in that individual, but well beyond. That one small, insignificant gesture may just start a ‘pay it forward’ revolution! Could this be prayer, too?? PD