by Marlene Evans
I mentioned how I liked redbirds many years ago, and people took up on it with no problem at all. The wise old owl which had been my “collection thing” went out the window, and I practically became a redbird!
I can’t understand what I’m doing wrong in that I cannot seem to “get across” my love for giving one another gifts of words. I believe I give good words to people, and I try to graciously receive good words given to me. Yet, I hear us all choosing bad words in talking with or about each other.
I am usually reminded of God’s love to me when I see a big ol’ fat redbird all glistening in the sun or in the snow. It’s difficult for me to comprehend that God made such a beautiful bird just for my enjoyment. Even though I thrill to the sight of redbirds that much, I believe I would be even more ecstatic to hear good words sailing through the air. Perhaps it is the best way in the world to fight looking at the negative in all of us.
You say, “Do you give good words even if you don’t believe them?” Definitely not! That would be flattery and would help no one. Instead, think of the good, even if it’s ever so little, and say it again and again in different ways. Mrs. Jack Hyles is known for her encouraging words—both oral and written. Once I asked her how she says so much in a few short sentences. About written words, she said:
I realize a note can be just a few words, but if thought and love are in those words, it can mean so much. It does take real thought, however.
When I feel my note is late, I realize that the person is not getting as much attention now and needs my note even more.
I set aside a day each week to write notes. For me, it is Thursday because we receive a prayer sheet on Wednesday night. That list reminds me of people who are ill or who need encouragement.
I remember how many times a timely note has bolstered my spirit.
Mrs. Linda Stubblefield wrote a note recently in which I counted six “meaty” specifics before even getting to the following excerpts in which she used “favorites” to describe a work-related trip that had been taken by several of us.
My favorite eating place was the Hob Knob. My favorite remembrance is the photograph of the “Three Elegant Ladies.” My favorite fun time was “The List.” My favorite memory will be your lying across the foot of the bed just talking.
A young lady I know writes notes that stand out from most of ours. First, they stand out just because she gets them done and sent; and second, every word of the note counts. I asked her the how and why of her note writing and she wrote the following answers.
How and why I write notes…
- I want very badly for people to be happy, and it hurts me to see people down.
- I want to do my part to encourage them by telling them an area in which I believe they excel or by showing them something good about themselves in an area in which they feel they struggle.
- It is my duty. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Withhold not good…” Dr. Boyd, Principal at Hammond Baptist High School, says we owe it to people to tell or write them the nice things we think about them.
- In order to write a heartfelt note, I think about what I would like to hear. I think about how I would feel in the person’s situation.
- I realize that if what I write encourages a person, I may be investing in someone who may be just the person I need someday. I may need to be made glad by a person I have made glad; not sorry. “But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?” (II Corinthians 2:1-2)
- I try to yield to the Holy Spirit specifically in this area of being a friend and encourager. I want Him to show me what people need to hear.
One way to make your notes powerful is to write them and then read them with a pen all ready to cross out the general statements anyone could say. That leaves you with a short but pithy group of words. Give a “word gift” today!