Renee over at What's in an identity asked the question: Who has God put in your life that has made a difference and have you told them?
Immediately one person came to mind. And yes, I have told her.
She watched me before and after school when I was a kid. She cleaned homes for a living and often brought me with on days I didn't have school. She showed me the basics of cooking...not that I picked up on the cooking part much.....it was why she was cooking that stuck with me. She would make huge batches of food and put it in smaller containers. When she went to clean peoples homes, many of the people were older, she cleaned out the fridge and left them meals.
This woman modeled for me what it means to be a christian. She is full of selfless love. She was like a second mother to me. At first I thought she was crazy. In the morning she would bound down the hall in her night gown with a loud cheery "Good Morning GOD!!!" in this joyous sing-song voice. I was dropped off before she woke up for the day, her high school kids would leave the door open when they left for me, and I would go watch cartoons until she got up. On the way to school she would ask me in the car - "Have you talked to God today?"
Now, I was in elementary school.....I think in first and second grade when she started to watch me. It was a christian school but still....this kind of personal "chat with Me" God was not someone I'd been introduced to. God was still in the stories to me but she introduced me to His Person. I watched her and soaked it in quietly. She never preached to me or pushed me....but she lived what she said. She served those who were in need right in front of her, she did what she could with what she had.
Several years ago I wrote her a letter to tell her how she had impacted my life. That her example was a model of what I now, as a grown woman with a husband and children of my own, strive for. I learned more about what I wanted to be when I grew up from watching her than from anything I've ever done in my life.
The Lord used her to plant seeds in my young life that are still growing today. After she received my letter, I found out from one of her daughters that this letter had a profound effect on her. She proudly and tearfully shared the letter with her daughters, her small group and confessed that she thought she'd had no effect on anyone. That she'd done nothing to expand the kingdom. Knowing the effect she had on my life gave her joy and peace. It encouraged her walk.
I was shocked at her response. I was shocked at her self-doubt. This was a lesson I never forgot....when someone is a gift to you....tell them. Tell them how you appreciate them, tell them why and how they have impacted you. Share with them the imprint they have left in your life. Tell them often and tell them well.
Sometimes it doesn't sink in the first time....surprise has a way of dulling your ability to fully appreciate a compliment...some are just too humble to receive it all. If you can't say I love you too much, then you can't tell someone how much you appreciate them too often.
You are appreciated. You are loved. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25
Blessings of love and grace,