When we are standing at their graveside, not when we are sitting across from them face to face.
What do those words of love mean to them when they can no longer hear?
What purpose does it serve to express your gratitude toward them when they are already in their grave?
I’ve heard so many sayings about “appreciating people while you still have them” but the truth is that even though we all know our time on earth is limited, we still seldom do.
Last week my mom was set to have surgery on her brain on Thursday so on Monday night we gathered our family and our relatives together to pray for God’s protection for her life and that the surgery would go well.
Before we all got on our knees to pray my dad asked all of us children to say something to our mom.
A blessing of some sort, words of encouragement, and what we would be praying about.
And one by one we all took turns sharing what was on our heart.
Telling her that we loved her.
That we appreciated her hard work for us during the day and her endless prayers during the night.
That without her life just would not be the same.
It was such a sweet moment.
One filled with sentimental words and flowing tears.
And as I sat there just listening to those words of love pour out I couldn’t help but think “why don’t we do this much more often?”
Why must we wait for Christmas, for a birthday, or worst, for a funeral to tell someone that we love them when we can tell them today?
Won’t it matter so much more to them when they can hear your words and feel your hug?
We are always so quick to point out people’s wrongdoings and faults, but wouldn’t it be so much better if we were even quicker to point out the times when they did something right?
God calls us to love one another not yesterday, and not tomorrow… but today.
So why not show some love? It’s good for the heart and soul, not just for the person you are showing gratitude toward but also for yourself.
Why not take the time to tell your friend that you appreciate them being there for you through thick and thin?
Why not take the time to tell your parents that you don’t take for granted their hard work and the fact that because of them you have food on the table and a roof over your head?
Why not take the time to tell your pastor, your mentor, or Bible study leader that you appreciate their faithfulness to reaching out to you and blessing you in your walk of faith?
Your words of love may seem insignificant but they can go a long way.
A long way in encouraging a weary mother or father to keep on giving everything they have.
A long way in encouraging your friend to continue to stay by your side and know that they are loved.
A long way in encouraging your pastor or leader to keep on serving selflessly in any way that they can.
I know that words of love have went a long way with me whether it came from a friend who sent me a card to say they appreciated me, a blog reader who wrote to tell me that the words God put on my heart blessed them, or a teen who said that the times I spent with them really mattered to them.
It’s those words that pushed to keep on writing when the enemy told me my words don’t matter and no one reads what I have to say.
It’s those words that kept me going when the enemy told me I was wasting my time and efforts on preparing Bible studies to lead and lessons to teach for teens who weren’t going to listen anyway.
It’s those words that kept me going when the enemy told me that no one really cared about me at the end of the day.
Yes, in the end it is God that is the One who encourages us through His Word, and who gives our lives worth and meaning, and who proved His unconditional love on the cross for us but this race of faith is hard and it doesn’t hurt to have someone cheering you on once in a while.
It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey what you’re doing is good, keep on staying faithful, and keep on playing your part.”
It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey, I appreciate your hours of cooking in the kitchen, your hours of praying on your bedroom floor, your hours of listening to me spill my heart out, and your hours of time investing into my life.”
We could all be reminded that we are not being taken for granted so why don’t we be the ones to start by saying “I love you” and “thank you” to someone today?
I love and wholeheartedly agree with what John Pavlovitz said in one of his recent blog posts:
“I think we should give people living eulogies; that we should speak lavish, unashamed words of love and praise, not about them, but to them. Speak all the words of love, to those you love. Say everything, while they can still hear.”
So why not start telling people they matter why they can still hear?
You don’t need to do anything too extravagant.
Say a few words.
Send a card.
Bring some flowers.
Honor those you love with your blessings, gratitude, and heartfelt prayers.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
I’m glad we didn’t with my mom last week and I hope you won’t with the people in your life that matter to you today.
This week I challenge you to take time to show some love to someone you care about. You never know when tomorrow could be too late. Also, I really appreciate every one of you who took the time to pray for my mom last week. Her surgery went a lot better than we all expected (thanks to God and your prayers!) and she is slowly recovering at home now. 🙂 Thank you! Have a blessed night! -Anna… ♥
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” –Romans 12:10