I saw the picture in my Facebook feed, and my heart skipped a beat.
My friend’s son had to type something on the computer for one of his Cub Scout assignments. He chose to tell his little sister she was beautiful.
What an amazing gift that cute little blonde headed girl received that day! Don’t we all long to hear words of inspiration and encouragement? Words of praise or adoration are like a summer rain on parched and dusty ground. They soak into us and give renewed life.
The above snapshot is a prime example of how our words don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes we hesitate to say something because we try to find just the right words, and those words don’t come. Yet, in spite of a misspelled word and a lack of punctuation, this young man’s message still rings true with powerful impact.
The longer I blog, the more I realize the value of the written word. I had my first post go somewhat viral recently. Of all things, the post focused on showing gratitude to those who work in service occupations, particularly postal carriers. I received several comments from people who work for the USPS thanking me for acknowledging the hard work they do. I even had people retweeting my post. While I was grateful for the feedback, it also made me sad. I had proof that our society has a serious praise deficit. Just think how two words, “Good job!” can go a long way.
For the past several years I’ve helped lead a Friday morning women’s ministry. During one of our leadership meetings, we explored spiritual gifts. One of the women felt disappointed that her gift was encouragement. Her response was, “I feel like it’s such a ‘fluffy’ gift.”
Her words have haunted me since then. The gifts of preaching or teaching may seem somehow more exciting or more important, but I vehemently disagree. If you have a friend with the gift of encouragement, then you know the value. The appropriately timed phone call, the sweet card in the mail, or the motivational Facebook message may be just the thing you need to keep you from giving up on a project or dream. Their words keep you going in the midst of difficult circumstances. Words can easily change the world.
Children seem to have figured out something many adults struggle with. Through the simplicity of their words they know how to build others up. Pictured below is a card my youngest son (6) made for my oldest son (9) recently. Joshua came running to me, a huge smile on his face, with the card in hand, “Look, Mom! Austin made this for me. Wasn’t that nice?” A few words on a page brought great joy.
Don’t fret over your words. If you know someone who needs or deserves some kindness, then simply let them know how much you appreciate them today. Even two or three words can make a huge difference!
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”Leave a Comment