Friday, October 28, 2011


I've had over half-a-dozen people come up to me this past week and unexpectedly bless me.

Towards the end of a late-night shift at Wal-Mart, the young woman pulling her bags of groceries off the carousel to place them in her shopping cart: "I really like the way you bag the groceries. Thanks! I appreciate that." Here I stood, doing a nothing kind of job, wishing I could get off my feet and home to bed. Tired, but trying to live the truth that, yes, even bagging groceries can be done to honor God. The young woman's words were life and health, and because of them I felt a little less tired.

"There is a note for you in the CSM podium." My manager whisked past as I headed to the front of the store and another night on a register. Oh, no, I thought, what have I done wrong this time? My shoulders slumped. I shifted white plastic trays until I found the dreaded note. "Camille, thank you so much for ...." In spite of all the things I've done wrong at this job, someone had noticed something I'd done right...and then taken the time to tell me. That note is now in my box of precious things.

"Thanks for dinner, Mom. It was awesome!" I don't get to hear this much any more, since I'm not often home at dinner time. All the left-overs are put away and the dishes washed by the time I drag in at night, and folks have either moved on to other activities or are already in bed. Funny how, even after almost 30 years of cooking three meals a day for other people, these words just warm my heart. There must be a little bit of Grammy in me!

"Hi, Mr. H----! How are you today?" We are only casual acquaintances, and it had been months since we last spoke. "I am so glad I ran into you today," he replied. "I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the articles you wrote recently...just what I needed to hear." My writing - through this blog, or the articles for the Messenger - are basically just vomited into a great fathomless void. Does anybody read any of this stuff? If they are, am I giving them a blessing or a curse? I feel like ET, sending signals into the dark cosmos. But then, every once in a while, a signal comes back. These rare blips on the radar screen are so humbling and encouraging and edifying - this is a big world we live in, and I yet God allows even me, every once in a while, to connect in some small way with one of His children.

All this to say, I don't know if we can truly comprehend the impact of even the smallest word of encouragement. A tiny thing, with tremendous life-giving energy. And, spoken at just the right moment to that person who, unknown to us, is feeling weary or disheartened...a word of life and light and hope.

So I challenge you today - speak life to someone. The clerk at the gas station, the mom herding small children through the grocery store, the man you pass on your afternoon walk, your pastor's wife, the teenage girl who babysits your kids. Just find someone! Speak a good word, and you'll be sowing seeds of life.

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs 12:25

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

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