Romans 15:2 (NIV)
2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

We need to remember to encourage our family, neighbors and friends. We need to let them know that a Holy God loves them and will be there with them.

Someone told me the other night about an Anton Chekhov story called "The Lament." It is a simple story about an old man who drives a horse and buggy for hire through the city.

The story goes that the old man's son died recently and he wants so desperately to tell someone. A wealthy man hires the horse and buggy for a ride across town. As the wealthy man steps into the carriage, the old man says, "My son, my son. Let me tell you about my son." But the busy man doesn't have time to listen.

Well, after the wealthy man leaves, another man steps into the carriage. He wants to be driven to the other side of the city. Again, the old man says, "My son. My son. Let me tell you about my son." And again, this second man also doesn't bother to listen.

At the end of the day, the old man returns to the stables, unhitches his horse, and as he begins to brush the horse down for the night, the old man begins to tell the horse, "My son. My son." And he tells the horse the tragic story.

[Christopher de Vinck, Simple Wonders, (Zondervan, 1995), page 157]

Many of us are just too busy to listen, but there are many people who want someone to listen to them. They want to share their griefs, their conflicts and their emotions. When someone comes to you be ready to listen and build them up.