The unexpected joy came from a letter in the mail. It was an ordinary day, even somewhat mundane; the kind of day permeated with regular routine and standard schedule. The sort that can appear no different than the day before, unintentionally numbing the recognition of blessings to be found in the monotonous of the normal.
The letter was from Jonathan, a good friend known for his sharp wit as well as deep compassion. With a firm commitment to his beliefs, Jonathan possesses a genuine faith that inspires others more than he realizes with results farther reaching than even he can understand.
The handwritten letter overflowed with encouragement, kindness and gratitude for our family, the type of exhortation that makes you stand a little taller and your heart feel a little more full. They were refreshing words that lifted in a world that often cuts down, words that offered love when you wonder if you're even liked.
The intentionality of the letter meant the most. Time set aside for the sole purpose of enriching our family with a heartfelt message was the sentiment that resonated the loudest. Following through with good intentions is a quality honed by the deliberate and only stumbled upon by the fortuitous. Words are always readily available to encourage others; the lack of effort is what makes them inaccessible.
Jonathan concluded his letter with brief remarks about our son, Chase. He cited examples of kind acts witnessed and the thoughtful manner in which our son interacted with others, all occurrences observed from a distance unbeknown to our ten year old.
I proudly relayed to Chase what had been written about him, pointing out the lesson in others watching him even when he was unaware. Without the slightest pause, Chase responded, “ I guess I should keep that in mind when I’m picking my nose, huh?”
Thank you, Jonathan, for your loyal friendship and for reminding us of the joy that can be extended with words - may we use them, mean them, and love well with them.