A couple of months ago, I made a meal for an elderly couple in my church. I barely knew them; but I had been asked by one of the deaconesses if I could bring them this meal. The wife had just been released home from a short stay in the hospital.
I made my go-to meal that I always make for friends who’ve just had babies. On our way to soccer practice, I hopped out of the car to quickly drop the meal off. It wasn’t so quick as I got a tour of the house and was offered various gifts from their vegetable garden. I don’t often get to know the older people in my church and I was so glad that I had a chance to get to know them a little better.
I made a mental note to look for them in the coming weeks at church and say hello. I then went on about my evening and my week, not really giving the encounter much thought.
A few days later a number came up on my phone that I didn’t recognize. Honestly, I often don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize. I did this time and it was the husband I had delivered the meal to days before sincerely thanking me for the meal and expressing how delicious it was.
I was so touched and rather shocked at the call. See, I don’t expect thank you notes from people, let alone phone calls. Really, we are the age of quick emails and even quicker texts. I’m not scolding anyone. I’m the queen of texting.
But the days of thank you notes or anything that seems to take more than a few quick minutes is long gone.
Don’t get me wrong! People still write thank you notes because I get them from time to time. While I don’t expect them, they always make me feel special. Like that person thought enough of me to take minutes out of their day to write a note, find my address (or find me physically), use a stamp and mail me a card.
I’m not against thank you emails or texts. I’m not against a “I hope you feel better. I’m praying for you” text. If those weren’t acceptable, I’d be in trouble because that’s what I usually do.
Before I write any further let me just clarify one thing. Mamas of newborns, please don’t ever feel like you need to write me a handwritten thank you note for any meal I may give you, especially if you have more than one child. If you are able to pull that off, bravo to you! I’ve been there, though. The fatigue, the sleeplessness, the fog you’re in for the first few months. It’s an accomplishment to get a shower in. I remember getting meals. I know you’re thankful.
Here’s my point to all this. What if we slowed down just a wee bit to be a little more intentional in encouraging each other? That could be a thank you note or a simple “I’m praying for you” card or a phone call instead of a text. There is something about an actual voice or seeing the actual script from a loved one’s hand. Maybe it’s a box of their favorite chocolates left in their mailbox.
I’ve actually got a couple of people on my mental list that I know need some encouragement. I’ve got a stack of blank cards collecting dust and I’m going to used them.
How about you? How can we intentionally show some simple act of kindness to someone this week. Let them know that someone is thinking about them and someone thought they were worth the time.