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Four years ago I received an unexpected email from David “JB” Miller inviting me to join the Life Letter Café writing team as a contributor. His email came at a time when I had been in prayer about writing and other commitments in my life, and it felt like the nudge of encouragement I needed.
On New Year’s Day, I found out David had been called Home. My shock quickly turned to sadness. Although I didn’t know him outside of emails and a few phone calls, I miss knowing he’s there offering prayer and encouragement to his team of writers.
I keep thinking about what his first email meant to me. I doubt he knew when he sent it that it was at just the right time for me. I doubt most of us know it too.
What if the tiniest bit—the size of a mustard seed—of encouragement we offer to someone else comes at just the right time when she needs it most?
* The smile in the grocery store that might be the first she’s seen all day.
* The sincere compliment we give to another when she’s feeling at her worst.
* The look of understanding we offer across the room that says, I understand when she feels no one does.
* The quiet strength we give when someone needs the nudge to keep trying.
* An ear to listen when someone feels she’s unheard.
* Sitting with someone right where she is when she feels alone and there’s nothing else we can do.
* The reminder You can do this, when she’s not so sure she can.
These may seem like small gestures, but aren’t mustard seeds the smallest seed before they grow into large plants?
What feels small to the giver might just feel monumental to the receiver.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31b-32 NLT
Perhaps the word of kindness we offer, no matter how small, might grow into the encouragement someone needs to keep going, to keep trying, to give tomorrow another chance. No matter how weak we feel our offering may be, God will use it in ways we might never know about.
Don’t underestimate what your mustard seeds of encouragement might mean to someone else. Just keep planting them and let God work on where they grow.
David, thank you for your encouragement and prayers. May we keep planting the mustard seeds for others.