There are folks all around us who need a note of encouragement.
Posted in , Feb 5, 2015
Did you know that February 7 is “Send a Card to a Friend Day?” I didn’t even know such a day existed until recently, but it brought to mind a special moment in my life that revolved around a greeting card. Let me paint the scene for you…
My sweet friends Brad and Laura were heading to the mission field. In preparation for that, they moved to Costa Rica to attend language school. They were excited about their new adventure for God, but it meant leaving behind their much-loved family and friends and everything that was familiar to them.
Most of the homes in their new neighborhood were surrounded by barbed-wire fences. Their new menu included vastly different foods that were bought in stores and shops that were nothing like what they had at home in the United States.
Add in a language they didn’t yet understand, and it was definitely a culture shock for them.
We stayed in touch through emails and social media. There were many good days and much excitement as they prepared to serve the Lord, but there were many tough days as well.
Brad became very sick, ending up in the hospital. I knew Laura must be afraid as she went through this scary time. Besides being worried about her husband, she was far from loved ones who would normally be there by her side.
Again, add in the language barrier that made it hard for her to understand what the doctors were telling her, and it was a stressful time.
Thankfully, Brad was soon better, but I could tell the experience had taken a toll on Laura. Things didn’t get easier over the next few months. Language school became more and more difficult, and I knew from her emails that she was struggling.
And then came the note that told about a frightening situation where a couple of men with guns had gone into a restaurant near their home, adding a new layer of fear as she and Brad walked back and forth to language school each day.
I worried about them, and I prayed for them, feeling helpless since I was so far away. And then one night when I’d been up writing until the wee hours of the morning, God impressed on my heart to do something.
I’d already started dragging myself up the stairs to go to bed. I was halfway up the steps when I heard that still small voice say, “Send Laura that card you wrote.”
For just a second I had the thought that I could send it later the next day, but then I felt God nudge me again. I walked back to my office and started searching through the files in my computer. Many months before I’d written some greeting card text to submit to a card company. Several of them were geared at missions.
I’m meant to send one to Brad and Laura for months, but I just hadn’t done it. So on that night when God stopped me in my tracks as I headed up the stairs, I sent Laura an email with one of the cards.
On the front it read, “Serving God won’t bring you fortune or fame–but it will bring you something far better…” and then on the inside it said, “God’s applause.”
I added a note telling her how proud I was of her and Brad for serving Jesus. I told her how much I loved them and that I was praying for the two of them. I clicked “send” and then continued my tired journey up the steps to find my pillow.
I was totally stunned by the email I got from Laura the next morning. She told how she’d walked to school with discouragement clouding her day. When she got to her class, the instructor was especially rough on her, causing her to break down in tears and run from the classroom.
She said, “I cried the whole way back to my house, and I was ready to quit, to pack up and come home.”
She continued, “I sat down at my computer and thought I’d check to see if there was anything from my friends and family back home. And then I found the email from you.” She went on to tell how it was just the encouragement she needed at just that time.
I cried as I read her email, in awe of God’s perfect timing. I’d meant to send that card to her for months–but God knew exactly when she’d need it.
What if I’d ignored that nudge the night before? What if I’d replied that I was too tired and I’d do it the next day or later in the week? I’m so grateful that I listened to that still small voice.
Sweet friends, there are folks all around us who need a note of encouragement, who need to know that we love them, and we’re praying for them. As I learned from my experience with Laura, just a simple card can make a big difference.
You know, so many times we think nice things about people but we don’t tell them, and yet, many times hearing those words would mean the world to them. Write a note and add those thoughts to your card.
And don’t forget to think outside the box. Send a card to your pastor or a Sunday school teacher. Tell them how they’ve touched your life. Take a card to a teacher who’s impacted you.
Mail a card to those in the military and thank them for their service to our country. Send a card to your doctor and thank him or her for taking such good care of you and your family.
Let’s pray and ask God to put five people on our hearts today and then let’s send them a card just to bless their day. Why not make it a habit and do that on a regular basis? It only takes a few minutes to share God’s love and brighten someone’s day.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)