On my prayer walk last Friday, I happened upon a man who was sweeping the ground with a metal detector. The grassy slopes near the middle school he was searching looked empty – filled with just sodden weeds like any other day in Oregon.
But Larry passed the metal detector back and forth until it sprang to life with clicks and then a loud tone declaring a find beneath the surface of the soil at his feet. He began to dig at that spot.
A person looking for metals quickly learns about discrimination: the ability of a metal detector to tell the difference between different types or alloys of metals. In the same way, as we connect with others, we have amazing chances to make “sweeps” as we discern and acknowledge their gifts – sometimes singular and sometimes a remarkable alloy of precious abilities.
What do our friends, family, and coworkers do well? How can we boast on them? What we speak to in a person rises up in them. I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready to see promises we've heard in prayer come to fruition. Our positive words activate a surge of strength in those around us.
Those looking for precious metals quickly learn familiar territory often covered by others also seeking valuables in the earth. At times it may seem like they come up empty. But patience is rewarded. Seasonal changes like storms and erosion can reveal metals where there were none before.
Storms in others’ lives sometimes cause unexpected upheavals. But those storms may be the very thrust that’s needed to bring out the best in them – with a bit of encouragement.
It’s up to us to search out the good in others and to share what we see.
Who can you find gold in today – and actively praise? What kind of treasure do you expect to find in others?