I might or might not finish with the title I’m starting with. I want to see what the piece looks like before I decide. So, this week begins a new month. August, if you’re not already aware. It also brought one of my favorite authors back to social media. I was aware Rachel Macy Stafford had been taking a break from social media, but I hadn’t known the length. I saw the pieces she wrote this past weekend and at the beginning of the week and almost cheered. Actually, I did cheer.
Not only does Mrs. Stafford have the gift of weaving words together, but she also has the gift of true encouragement. Now, you might wonder what the difference is between encouragement and true encouragement. I call it authenticity. She has many fans, but every time I read one of her notes or responses, it seems to have been made for just that person. To have that gift is rare which makes me glad I found her as an author.
But, you’re not reading this to hear me wax poetic about Mrs. Stafford. You’re here to hopefully read a piece of coherent writing written by yours truly. I needed to include the set-up though so you would understand how I came up with the phrase “gems in my pocket,” and so I could give credit where credit was deserved. Mrs. Stafford used it as a teaching tool with her daughters when their family moved and remembered it again for herself when her friend moved. Being able to readily remember someone’s “words, laughter, and teachings” though you no longer see them regularly is a gift you keep for a lifetime.
I have those gifts too. In my over fifty years of life, I have moved several times, and I’ve gained something from each place I’ve lived. Memory. It comes at just the right time to let you know about the disparate pieces which have knit you into the person you are. I believe these gifts can also be strength builders though, and this is what I want to talk about today.
We are in a time of perpetual uncertainty. My young adult children are unable to enter the next phase of their lives, and I’m not able to enter the empty nest phase of mine. We, as people, can’t be around each other either which has been particularly frustrating for me.
Enter “gems in my pocket.” Despite the moving of our lives over to technology, I’ve appreciated tangible items of encouragement. I’ve carried around a letter and a card for several years because of the encouragement they offered me. I know who wrote me the card, and I’m pretty sure who wrote the letter though it was unsigned. These are items that will always be with me.
I mentioned technology, and it has had its benefits as well as its negatives to keeping in touch. There are texts that have come just when I’ve needed them or messages on social media. They are gems too though they’re not quite as tangible as the cards and letters.
Then, there are things that happen when we get-together. Of course, that’s not happening quite as much now because of the pandemic. We’re wearing masks, and we’re not hugging people. But, there are two things people have done for me recently that I count as gems. Winking and giving elbow bumps. I felt seen when that happened. More seen than I had felt since this started. A real gem, if you ask me.
As I conclude, I want to tell you this. We need to feel like we’re seen right now. Like we’re part of a community. We’ve been told we need to stay separate so changing our mindset about this is difficult. But, I believe we can change it. So, for a challenge this week and moving forward, I challenge you to help someone feel seen in this brave new world of ours.
God bless you all!