Purging and organizing have begun in earnest as we look to a move in the next few months. Today I spent a good deal of time going through memorabilia, including many notes, cards and letters that people have written to us--and particularly to my husband in his work as a church musician--over the years. As I was reading through some of these treasures, the thought occurred to me that not only did they offer encouragement when they were first sent, but they are offering encouragement today. To use a cliché, they are truly gifts that keep on giving! Little did the people who sent them know how their words would live on.
Sometimes in life the voices of criticism, however few and weak and insubstantial they may be, can drown out the voices of approval. I think of my piano students, and how I like to tell them that it takes twenty times of playing something right to balance the one time they played it wrong. Unfortunately that seems to hold true for life as well. One person tells you you're no good, you're not worth his time, you're an impediment or a problem, and that's the person you have a hard time ignoring in spite of the hundred voices that are saying something else. So if there is someone in your life who has been a blessing to you, I encourage you to let him or her know. Not with an email that will get lost or even a phone call that will be over when you hang up, but with an old-fashioned card or note. Your subject will not only be encouraged when he reads your words tomorrow or the next day, but he will be encouraged when he rereads them five or ten or twenty years down the road. And as he soaks in your love and affirmation, gaining strength for the next part of his journey, he will think of you and be glad.