I opened the camera app on my phone, changed the setting to video and rotated the camera to face me. In my mind, I had rehearsed the message I planned to send. As sometimes happens in life, things didn’t turn out the way I hoped.
My message was to be sent to a loved one in another province who only had days left to live. There was so much I wanted to say. How could I possibly express my feelings in a short video?
I recorded a two-minute message to be sent to my niece who would play it at the hospice bedside. I tried to send it through Messenger but it was too large. Next, I tried to email, with the same results.
It looked like I’d have to start over. A minute and a half was still too large a file to send. So was forty seconds. I was getting frustrated and started to panic. Time was limited and I needed to get this message sent before it was too late.
Once more I went back to my camera. I had already cut out much of what I wanted to say. The short reading was gone. So were the encouraging memories we shared. I was sure the thirty second version would send. Wrong again. In desperation, I cut all extra words and the recording came in at twenty seconds.
This was still too large a file so I cut a few more words and came in at sixteen seconds. My prayer of, “please let this work” was answered when I hit ‘send’ and it went. Relief was mingled with regret at what I wasn’t able to say.
The next day I heard how much my short message had meant. The following day my sister-in-law passed away.
I learned an important lesson through this experience. It doesn’t take a lot of words to say what’s in my heart. All I needed was to say, “I love you and your memory will remain in my heart.” If I had waited to figure out how to send a larger message I may have been too late.
Thank you, Earleen for the final lesson. Rehearsed words are not as important as saying, “I love you” every chance we get.
The lyrics in the song had such impact on me that I had to write them down as soon as the song was over. I was afraid the busyness of life would push them into the back of my memory and didn’t want that to happen.
A group called 11th Hour sang the poignant words, “I’d like to shake the hand, that reached out a hand, that reached out a hand to me.”
What a beautiful way to express the ripple effect of kindness.
I know how much I appreciate those who have reached out a hand to help me. What I hadn’t stopped to think about was someone must have done the same for them. Through this act, the initial person impacted my life in a positive way, without ever having direct contact with me.
I also have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people I may never meet. When I reach out in love and support, there is no way of knowing how that act may be passed on.
Like a stone tossed in a pond, the ripples move in an ever widening circle.
Thank you to all who perform acts of kindness. You make more of a difference than you will ever know.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop
I live in Alberta, Canada. One day I received a phone message from a school in Texarkana, Texas, informing me that my son Ryan was absent from class. This continued sporadically, building up to three calls in one week. The messages were automated meaning I couldn’t let the school know they had the wrong number.
When the calls stopped for a couple of weeks I thought the error had been discovered and corrected. Then I received a message with an invitation to visit the fire hall with the class. Immediately following was another call saying Ryan had been absent that day.
Realizing that this child’s parents were not getting the information they needed from the school, I took matters into my own hands. An internet search of the school name and area gave me the phone number I needed. I called and left a message informing them of the mix up.
Telling people I was getting calls from a school over 3,000 km away made for a good story. It also made me stop and wonder how often there are messages in my life that I ignore. Do I really pay attention when God is speaking to me? Are his messages pushed to the background of my mind, ignored like a wrong number? I need to seek God’s will in my life so I will hear and respond when he speaks to me.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 NLT