I try really hard to remain connected to my friends. But, I often let weeks go by without calling or texting. This week I was reminded of the value of a kind overture. There is nothing like being on the receiving end of genuine encouragement.
Every single day this past week one of my friends reached out to me and made it clear in their own way that I was valued. I had to leave a memorial service rather hastily Monday evening, because I needed to make an important call. A friend, whom I did not see at the service, sent me a text inquiring as to where I went! It was obvious this friend was hoping to connect and have a few moments to catch-up. I felt valued. Someone reached out to me!
The next day I received a lunch invitation for the expressed purpose of connecting. The person extending the invitation did not have an agenda. There was no desire to talk shop, sell me something, or seek my support for a project. My friend just wanted to connect. It was nice to be on the receiving end of such an invitation.
And then the next day, I received a short message. It simply read: “Checking in on you.” I was profoundly touched. What a kind gesture. That is the kind of message I might send to someone! It was sure nice to receive one. Once again, I felt valued.
The week of encouragement continued… On Wednesday, I received another message. This one was in Spanish. It read: “Como has estado?” Translated: “How have you been?” Communicating in two languages is a challenge, but the language of love is universal.
But then Thursday rolled around, and the week of encouragement was by no means over. I received a message that posed two questions. “How are you?” and “What’s going on in your life?” Those are excellent “open” questions. And they were posed with the intent of expressing genuine interest.
On that same day, another friend sent pictures of a social gathering in Denver that she knew I would be very interested in! And on Thursday, Jan and I were invited to join friends on a trip to Europe this summer. (It looks like any overseas trips for us will more likely be to China in the near future!) And still another friend sends a weekly email with simple, but very thoughtful inquiries.
Friday rolled around. More encouragement was forthcoming. I received a simple, but thoughtful message. It read: “How was your day?” Open questions foster encouragement.
There is nothing like being on the receiving end of genuine encouragement. I am vowing to be far more purposed in such endeavors! There IS power in a kind word.