It was just one simple email. Not long or wordy. No extra emojis. Just a simple email.
As I read this simple email that a friend was sharing with me this morning, I realized what a profound and life-giving message one simple email can bring.
This email won’t soon be forgotten. Not by the dad who shared it with me. Nor by his son who received it. And, not by me.
It was short. Only eight sentences. However, those eight short sentences, written by a teacher and coach, spoke volumes. They gave life-giving encouragement to a young man that will stay with him long after he has played his last game or taken his final test.
The email simply recognized his ability to be a great friend to someone who needed one. It pointed out that God sees every one of his acts of kindness. And, yes, thanked him for reaching down to pull up a fellow classmate who hasn’t had the easiest path along life’s journey.
This email did what so often we as parents, coaches, and teachers forget to do.
It recognized the normal, everyday acts that can seem small and insignificant. Things that our children may not even realize are a big deal.
But, they really are a big deal, aren’t they?
A much bigger deal than a trophy that will rust or a GPA that no one will remember a year from now. A much bigger deal than the winning shot or the home run. All of which seem to bring about their share of boasting and celebrating. And, rightly so.
Although, it does make you wonder. How much better would our world be if kindness and honesty were celebrated and praised in the same way as these other accomplishments?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could see their eternal accomplishments as clearly as we see their worldly accomplishments?
I am ashamed to say that often I spend more time focusing on the mistakes of my children than I do recognizing their good deeds. Discussions in our house are often prompted by a bad grade, a dirty room, or just a not so great attitude.
You name it, if children do something wrong, unfortunately we are all too quick to jump on the accusing band wagon. And, I must confess, I don’t let it go very easily. I harp and preach for way too long. Ouch.
Unfortunately, I know I often place more importance on recognizing the wrongs or the worldly accomplishments of my children, than I do celebrating the eternal things I see them do.
The coach who took the time to email this young man got it right. He nailed it in my opinion.
Because recognizing the little things others have done well is a gift.
It takes time to send an email.
It takes effort to see the small things of life.
It takes eyes to see people’s deeds like Jesus sees them.
And, yes, it takes a heart so intent on loving others that the time and effort never really seem to matter.
This coach did more in that simple, heartfelt email than he may ever do on the baseball field this year.
And, because I know this coach personally, I know that he would be happy with that.
As much as he likes to win games, he prefers to win hearts for Jesus.
To spur people on to find that abundant life in loving and serving others.
To reach down and be a blessing to the hurting.
And, yes, to be the very hands and feet of Jesus to everyone he meets.
Yes, as he said in his email, the angels in heaven rejoiced over this young man’s kindness toward his classmate, but I believe that the angels in heaven rejoiced again as this coach hit send.
Knowing that their plans work full circle to touch the hearts and lives of all those who are obedient to His call.
Well done, Coach.
May we as followers of Christ learn to take the time to notice the little things that lead to big, life-long victories.
And, to celebrate them and recognize them and praise others for them!
Because the eternal things are the only ones that really matter.
Holy Father, Help us to see the seemingly small things our children and others do each day. Give us eyes to recognize their eternal actions as clearly as we see their academic, athletic, creative and professional actions. May we take the time today to speak life and truth and encouragement into someone else’s life. And, yes, allow your Spirit to magnify those little things so we might remind one another of how big they really are in God’s eyes. May our hearts be so intent on loving others that the time and effort doesn’t ever matter. Help us as we seek to win hearts for you, Father. May we spur others on to the abundant life that Jesus has promised as we love and serve them in your precious name. Yes, Lord, allow us to be your hands and feet to everyone we encounter along life’s journey. In the name of our precious Savior, Jesus, we ask these things. Amen.