"I just wanted you to let you know how much it means to me,
to have someone go out of their way for me;
to allow me to feel like an "insider" rather than an "outsider".........
These were words written to me in a Thank-you card.
Words, that made my heart swell, and my eyes water.
Words, that completely floored me.
I wasn't even sure what had done to warrant those words.
I read the card three time, before it dawned on me;
the actions I had taken, to merit them.
They weren't extravagant, those actions.
They were little.
They were just things that I would normally do for people I cherish.
But, to her, they were significant.
To her, they were considerable.
Important enough they were,
that she decided to acknowledge them in a Thank-you card.
When I contacted her to express my gratitude,
she explained that she was intentionally working on,
"showing genuine appreciation and letting people know their value and impact."
And then my heart swelled again.
She values me.....
She believes I'm valuable.
I'm not sure if she knows the depth of impact her words had on me.
She intended to express her gratitude and appreciation but,
what she really did,
was speak life into me.
"You have a beautiful voice.
And, you led the worship service so beautifully;
do you do this professionally?"
Words spoken to me at the end of a Sunday service.
I wonder if he noticed my "deer caught in the headlights" kind of look I gave him.
While I love to sing;
to worship to be more precise,
and while I love leading the amazing team members I am so very privileged to work with,
there are days I feel very ill-equipped,
and altogether unqualified,
standing on that stage.
This was one of those days.
I was feeling particularly unworthy.
I was going over the mistakes I had made, in my head.
I was feeling mentally, and emotionally drained.
And then, a complete stranger,
passing through town with his wife,
walks to the front of the church to speak to me.
He tells me how he loved the worship.
He explains to me that his spirit was touched.
He speaks words to me, that fill my emptied cup.
I don't know if that was his intent.
I wonder, if after the rough completion of our last song,
he just wanted to encourage me.
Perhaps he was being obedient to an inner prompting.
I have no idea why he came.
I just know that he did.
And his words to me,
took root in my heart.
"Your my favorite Phil."
These are words I say to a man from my church.
He is one of the best people I know.
He has the biggest heart,
and the most beautiful smile.
I watch his face as I speak into the microphone.
I watch him,
this 80 year old man,
as I acknowledge the vast amount of time;
the countless hours of work he's donated to our church expansion.
I describe the late nights he's spent here,
finishing up a specific project he has started.
And, I watch him as I inform our congregation
that, he does all of it with a smile on his face.
He is beaming.
As I publicly recognize his faithful work,
his face shines.
I wonder if his heart is as full as mine.
Each of these moments were just spoken,
or written words.
There was nothing fancy,
nothing extravagant about them.
They were simple,
but they were genuine,
and they were spoken in truth.
The words that were spoken to me,
Those words, spoken so tenderly,
made me feel valued.
They made me feel like I was enough.
And I can't help but wonder;
Did the words I spoke to my "favorite Phil",
bring him as much joy as they brought me?
I'm not sure.
The joy I felt watching his face as I spoke those words,
filled my heart just as much,
as the words that were spoken to me, did.
Perhaps Jesus was right when He said,
"It is better to give, than it is to receive."