I recently received an unexpected card in the mail from a friend with whom I had been talking the week before in our church lobby. Instead of one of those rushed, "How-are-you?"-"I'm-fine-thanks" exchanges as we're swept in opposite directions, we had an actual minute to connect.
In a moment of real candor, I had wondered aloud if I'm too busy working to achieve my actual life purpose (which is a wallop of a statement, understandably), and she had nodded and listened. Fast forward one week and picture me at my mailbox, pulling out an envelope addressed to me in her penmanship.
I opened the card in my kitchen, watching as two pictures that she had printed fell onto the counter. In her message she reminded me how I support my husband, love my children, and reach out to my students. She shared how my words have helped friends, neighbors, and strangers. She reminded me of God's good plans and purposes for my life, right in this season, right where I am.
I'll always keep this card.
I think of key moments in my life when someone has encouraged me -- pouring courage back into my heart that, for whatever reason, had evaporated. When I've left those moments, the situation hadn't changed, but my perspective had. That's an immensely valuable shift.
Let's never understimate the power of an encouraging word. It's no small thing.