At our last stop of the evening, as I sat on the back deck under the stars talking with the other guests, I was served "tea and ice cream sundaes" by the cutest waitresses ever, one of whom was wearing pink fairy wings. The tea was light and airy, and the sundaes were visually delicious, especially with the pink play dough cherry on top! It was a fun game and my friend and I were happy to play along, but when our servers came around again with an actual, edible dessert, we dove right in. My conversational companion accepted the treat from the tray and remarked, "Oh please, especially since it is real!"
One of my favorite things is to offer encouragement to people who are feeling discouraged. I have even sometimes offered it, like my winged waitress, in the form of some delectable treat (though I'd like to think mine were more edible.). But I am careful to offer more than just what is pretty and nice to look upon. If my encouragement is only meant for show, and not based on truth, then it will not really be encouraging at all.
It is good and right for little girls to play dress up and tea party, but when we grow up, we must do more than that! We need to make sure that the "Cup of Encouragement" that we offer is brimming full with the richness of truth and the warmth of Love that can only come from God. As we serve up that kind of encouragement, those that we are serving will say, "Oh yes, especially since it is real!"