Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kind Memories

As I was doing my morning walking yesterday, I was thinking about the awesome power of a kind word.  We've all been impacted by little comments of encouragement from people throughout our life, and we probably aren't aware of how life changing some of them have been.  To the person giving it, it was probably just a short moment of thoughtfulness - doing something they do many times a day - and they moved on not thinking much about it at all.  Yet for the receiver, it was, like the Spirit tells us, "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." (Pr.25:11)  We just had a beautiful and valuable work of art placed in our lap.
I may have mentioned the comment a while back from one of our young adults.  She made a point to wait around after the Sunday morning assembly, and after most of the crowd had passed by me, she wanted to share a special blessing with me.  She said, "I know we, our age group, don't usually tell you, but I wanted you to know that I have really appreciated the lessons you've been presenting.  They have helped me and made me think."  She was right, and she was awfully sweet and considerate.  It's always special to hear from a segment of the church family I don't often hear from.  She really did "make my day" that Sunday.
When I was much younger, preaching just outside of Washington, D.C. in Fairfax, Virginia, we had a very mobile and transient membership, primarily due to so many members being military.  The Fairfax family was an unusual family in that everyone came from somewhere else - there were no roots (except for us) - and it was a highly educated group.  During that time an Air Force officer in the church family, who has been and old friend now for a long time, said something to me that uplifted me then, and has stuck with me for three decades now.   He probably doesn't even remember saying it.  Johnnie said, "You are the first preacher I've heard who justifies his salary by the quality of your lessons."  It still makes me say "Wow" today, but it was especially encouraging to me as a young "whipper-snapper".
Then there was the introduction that one of our elders gave about me as we were having a special service with lots of visitors.  I don't remember what the occasion was that required an elder to introduce me, but Scott Chambers made a statement about me that I'll never forget.  He said, "Mike is not as young as he looks or as old as he sounds."  Wow - again!  I remember thinking hard about that and it took a while for me to fully "get" what he was saying.  It was a huge compliment - after all- and not a joke.
These just reminded me to look for ways and opportunities to give a kind word of encouragement to others.  We may never know how we can touch a life with just a few thoughtful words.
Now - I'm ready for someone to say, "Mike's not as old as he looks, or as young as he sounds."  Funny how time changes things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I miss those deep, make me thing lessons! SH