I just mailed a note of appreciation to a young woman I don't know. Her first name is Michelle. The other day her world and mine overlapped for about 90 minutes. When my friend Donna and I met for lunch, Michelle was our server. She did a great job waiting on us, and we left her a nice tip, but when I returned home, I felt I should let her know in writing how much I appreciated her good service. Will I ever see Michelle again? Probably not. But I pray my written words will remind her that someone values her.
Let them know
I regularly write notes of love, encouragement and thanks to those I care about. As in the case of Michelle, I also write notes to people I don't know. There's something out of the ordinary about taking the time to jot down a few words to lift someone's spirits and then to drop the note in the mail.
My 84-year-old mom, who lives alone, called me last week after receiving one of my notes. Tearfully, she said, "I was feeling a little down this morning. Your note really lifted me up."
The last time I went to get my hair cut, I spotted a thank-you note taped to the hairstylist's mirror. It was a note I had sent her several weeks before.
It's so easy
Whenever I'm shopping and come across lovely note cards, I purchase them. I also keep stamps handy.
Someone could make a case for saving postage and sending an e-mail instead. E-mails are better than no mail, but taking the time to write out a note and mailing it means so much more to the recipient. I doubt that my hairstylist would have taped an e-mail to her mirror.
Purchasing note cards doesn't have to be expensive. Discount stores offer a variety of quality cards. Yes, postage costs continue to rise, but the cost of a stamp is minor compared to the joy your note could bring someone. You never know the difference one note can make in the life of someone.
Who needs to hear from you? Look around. Everyone you come in contact with could use a note of encouragement or thanks from time to time. Start with your immediate family members — then how about your pastor, your neighbor, a co-worker or a store clerk?
What do you write? You don't have to write a long letter to let someone know she is important to you and that you appreciate her. How about something simple?
Where can you write notes? Almost anywhere. Carry a few note cards in your purse or briefcase to pull out in the doctor's waiting room, a restaurant while you're waiting for your food or the church parking lot.
When should you write notes? Look for needs. When the Lord brings to mind people whom you haven't seen in a while, He may be letting you know they could use a word of encouragement.
Why write notes? Most of us love to receive personal mail. And the beauty of note cards is that you can set them out or tuck them away in special places to read over and over.
Give it a try. You will find that it is a small, valuable investment in someone's life.
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.