Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I've been staring at this blank screen for a while. I've typed several sentences only to erase them and then start again. After all, how could I show you every feeling that is pounding within my heart right now? Would I be capable of eloquently speaking all that I am reflecting upon? Well, I'm going to try.
You see, I'm sure that like me you've had trying days or weeks. Perhaps you've experienced a period in time where it seemed that you tried very hard to do the "right" thing, meet the "right" need, or perform the "right" deed. Yet, no one seemed to notice. What's worse--maybe they had noticed but didn't care. Maybe your efforts to help a friend, a co-worker or family member were performed in vain. Maybe, like me today, you felt tired. Weary. Maybe like me you even felt sad--an emotion that you usually kept in check with a thankful heart. But sometimes sadness finds a way to penetrate our noble barriers, and then we're left fighting its ugly sibling--discouragement.
Tonight, I felt that way.
Actually, I'd been feeling that way for quite some time, but tonight, alone, I sat down and allowed my head to bow and my shoulders to slump.
And then I faintly glimpsed an unfamiliar piece of mail lying next to me on the table. Tossing the regular junk mail from covering it, I slid the envelope towards me and assumed it was a Christmas card.
But it wasn't.
It was something more than wishes for a great holiday season. It was a "Thank You" note.
Right away, I tried to connect what event I'd attended or contribution I'd made. But it wasn't for any of those reasons I received the card.
I received the card because someone, somewhere, thought of me. She stopped the daily happenings in her own life to think about mine. Instead of looking inward, she looked outward. Part of her handwritten words simply stated: "I just want to acknowledge how grateful I am to you. You are very generous with your time. I can only imagine what goes through your mind when you have worked so hard to help others, yet because of what seems to be lack of action on their part at times--makes you wonder if you're making a difference. For the sake of those of us who are committed to growing and learning, I am thankful for your efforts. I know how much your guidance has helped me and I just want to say: THANK YOU!"
Two words made all the difference to me tonight. Two words brought me the reassurance that my efforts were not in vain, and it was those two words that lifted my head and ignited the firestorm of determination back into my eyes. And I am thanking her tonight. She made the effort to do more than send a text or e-mail by mailing me a personalized card. She had no idea what thoughts I'd been internalizing previously, and I had not seen her for quite some time, yet she healed my wounds and pulverized the demon of discouragement using the weapon branded with the sweetest words of Thank You.
In closing, who do you know that might need to hear these words?
Look around you and observe. And then make the effort to impact their lives with the unexpected power of Thank You.