Monday Moment, June 3rd
Last week, my dear friends- the ministry/office staff of St. John- took me to lunch as I was finishing up my time and position there. As we were eating, Pastor Michael invited the staff to share some of the things they most appreciated about me. They didn’t know this at the time, but I had words of affirmation for each of them as well, written in a letter I left for them back at the office.
What a treasured gift this was! I came away from our time together feeling~
Noticed. As each friend named certain specific qualities they saw in me, I realized that I wasn’t just another person filling a position. The ways in which I served had been an asset to the team. My role and gifts had made a unique difference. In their noticing, I learned that I did have a special purpose in serving with them, albeit for a short season.
Appreciated. In all of our words to one another, there was profound gratitude. Our obvious affection and appreciation for one another became more apparent as we shared our memories and joys of serving together in ministry. The rich blessing of friendship is a wonderful reason to be thankful.
Encouraged. There are times when we might be discouraged in our vocations, or we may overlook the special gifts we use in service for others. When we are reminded of our individual, unique, God-given traits and how they have impacted others, we are inspired and motivated to use them even more.
Guided. Michael asked me what new plans I have in mind, and I shared a dream I hope to pursue in my writing. He offered a suggestion to write with a particular perspective- and it was the same approach that I had been considering! His suggestion helped to confirm which direction I should take. The Spirit often moves through others, and I thanked him for being prompted to speak when the idea came to him.
Peaceful. Most of all, I had this peace that no matter what might happen to any of us, we had said the words that needed to be said. We had acknowledged with one another how our relationships and time together mattered. Our friendship was of God. I knew that if I were to die tomorrow, each of us would be thankful that nothing remained unspoken. These times are like being able to enjoy our own eulogy!
May we learn to affirm one another as if today was our last chance. Most likely it won’t be, but then our words will bless others to live their future days feeling noticed, appreciated, encouraged, guided and peaceful. May we consider the words we would use for a farewell blessing at the end of life and say them now- that they may serve as a blessing of encouragement for this day, and all the days yet to come.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other... (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NRSV)
(Photo: This mug is another treasured gift the staff gave me. Pastor Michael says these words quite often! God IS good…)