My friend endured one of the greatest losses known to mankind, the loss of a child. He was healing incredibly, working it hard, and beginning to feel comfortable enough to engage life just a little bit more. His grief seemed to be contained for those “appropriate times of expression”, and healthy denial was allowing his spirit to rise, and then “it” happened. He decided to go to a concert and while I think he was feeling just fine, his broken heart was still speaking a silent grief. Perhaps it was written somewhere on his face, or expressing itself deep in his eyes, or perhaps stated subtly by a slight stoop of the shoulders. This is when someone, seemingly out of nowhere, engaged him with a quietly caring but powerful observation. She said three simple words, “You look sad”, and my friend said that his tears burst forth. He didn’t seem to like it, but in that moment, someone touched his heart and a pocket of grief was healed. Encouragement is loving engagement and in this instance, a simple observation worked upon my friend’s soul with the precision of a laser. This is Simple Encouragement, speaking healing to pain.