why empty benches

As you can see, we’ve chosen to use empty benches as the theme of our website.  O.K., so you may be wondering why. Simply put, empty benches represent  both the past and the future. Once someone sits on a bench by themselves it is often to do one of three things: think about the past, ponder a current situation, or contemplate the future.  Each bench, if it could talk, might have encountered 100’s or thousands of visitors all with very interesting thoughts.

A city bench, like the one on the right has surely seen many visitors. It is these visitors that make the bench special. Any bench, all benches and all chairs have supported interesting people.

The problem though is that empty benches can not help anyone. They have romantic appeal but unlike you and me, they just sit their collecting stories.

encouraging-messages-on-empty-benches

encouraging action

I love the notion of the empty benches but I love encouraging people even more. A trait I learned from my mom, Naomi.  I see empty benches everywhere and just wonder how I might have helped the stranger sitting at that bench.  Yes, that’s right, the stranger.  The ones some of us are taught not to approach.

Well just thinking about it didn’t help anyone and left me feeling melancholy.  This didn’t make sense because there are billions of people encountering problems every day.  Some simply need a little encouragement to overcome and get moving along, other need a lot of help which I just can’t do.

the encouraging idea

So I wondered; how could I safely help the stranger who needed a little encouraging. I remembered back to my mom and something she used to do. She would write letters to people needing encouragement. She worked with her friends at church to learn who in the community needed encouraging; young, old, sick, sad, unemployed, or heartbroken, it didn’t matter. Then, once a week they would sit down and send ANONYMOUS letters to the people they found needed encouraging. They called themselves Encouragers Anonymous.

Her advantage came from living in a small town, she know EVERYONE. She knew who needed encouragement. I, on the other hand, live in a major metropolitan city and the task of  encouraging a lot of people is overwhelming.

Then, one day while talking with my husband, I had the idea to use the internet to do the same thing. Create a live streaming virtual way to encourage others.

I am amazed how easy it is to find things on the internet. Finding people who are seeking encouragement is no different. What shocked me was the number of people openly seeking encouragement.

“What I needed was a simple way to find people needing encouragement and reach out to them and let them know somebody whom they do not know was offering encouragement and prayer.

It just seemed natural then to combine my attraction to empty benches and the stories they hold, my mom’s example of encouraging others, and the internet to reach people. Hence the creation of Encouraging Messages on empty benches.

Suzan

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