Making a Difference

October 2, 2011 at 3:17 am Leave a comment

We spent the weekend at a beautiful cabin a few hours away with some friends of ours. The cabin belonged to their family and we were invited to come rest, relax, eat and fish, all of which we did in abundance. It was just what the doctor ordered for Michael and me.

On the way home, I received some really sad news. I lost a good friend today. He’s no longer on this earth, but I’d like to tell you what he meant to me, and the difference he made in my life. As you well know, if you’ve actually hung in there with my blogging inconsistency, words are how I process my emotions.

Mr. J became my friend last year. We go to church together and he has always made extra effort to show kindness to me. Whether it was my singing or my speaking, or whatever I was participating in, he always had a nice thing to say about me. People like that are rare in today’s world. I have treasured his kind words, because God used him to encourage me many times when I needed it.

A year ago, Mr. J called me and asked if I would serve on the missions committee at church when it was time to start a new year. I agreed. At my first meeting, Mr. J nominated me for chairperson of the committee. It has been one of the biggest challenges for me personally, but one of the most humbling, wonderful experiences I’ve had. We make all decisions as a committee, but everything I’ve suggested or idea I’ve shared, Mr. J has backed me up. He tells me that he’s proud of me. That he sees me as a role model and an example. He told me he thought I could do great things for Jesus. He would pat me on the hand during our meetings, just to let me know he thought I was doing a good job.

I shared with him once that I’d love to write one day. He immediately told me that he thought I should share my feelings through words, because he just knew that I had things to say that would make a difference.

Mr. J believed in me.

Mr. J saw in me what I could not see in myself most of the time.

Mr. J wanted the absolute best for me.

Mr. J told me that if he could pick anyone to be his sister, he’d pick me.

Mr. J told me that, in his mind, I was perfect. I tried hard to assure him that I’m certainly not, but he insisted.

I’m sure he was just being sweet to me, he was a very kind man. But his confidence in me made a huge difference. I know that I would never have volunteered to be on that committee, even though I love missions. I really would have assumed that someone else could serve better than I could. I would not have jumped on a summer mission project for our whole church to raise money for water wells in India if he had not told me that day that he knew I was there on that committee to do great things for Jesus.

When someone believes in you, they are like the diving board that propels you to fly through the air, doing all kinds of stunts before the splash and the smiles that follow.

When someone believes in you, and TELLS YOU that they do, they are like the plug that goes straight into the outlet and lights up the whole Christmas tree.

I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life that Mr. J believed in me.

I’m so glad he was my friend. I miss him, and I can’t imagine how his family must feel. But I hope they know that he was a man who made a difference, because he knew that Jesus made a difference in him.

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