This year I was at a conference with about 1200 women and it was the last session on the last day. I was making my way back into the auditorium when I felt someone grab my arm and say, “Excuse me.”
I turned around and came face to face with a woman I did not recognize.
“You probably don’t remember me,” she said.
Her face didn’t give me a hint of who she was. And I felt bad. I scrubbed my brain for a hint.
“Two years ago, in the prayer room, you prayed with me.”
Still scrubbing my brain for a hint. And then… She told me what the situation was and I definitely remembered. She was having marriage issues.
“I’ve been trying to find you. You prayed with me for my marriage and then you gave me some advice and talked to me. For the past two years, not a day went by I didn’t remember your words. I didn’t give up on my marriage because of your words.”
And she went on to show me a picture of her husband. He had come to faith in Jesus and just weeks earlier he was baptized.
We both cried and hugged.
“I just had to find you and say ‘Thank you!’”
It would take me several cups of coffee and many, many minutes sitting across the table from you for me to explain what that short interaction meant to me. See, I had recently been questioning if I was making a difference anywhere. For years, I have “ministered” to women. I mentor young women. I write blogs. I speak to rooms of people. I pray for people. But was I making a difference anywhere?
The quick conversation told me I was making a difference for at least one – two if you count her husband. And maybe a few more since they have kids.
Every time I push “publish” on a blog post I pray, “Lord, let the one person who needs to read my words see them. Amen.”
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you. Luke 17:11-19
Did you catch that? Jesus healed all ten of the men who had skin falling off of their bodies but only ONE came back to thank him. Only one.
The girl who stopped me, she was the one. And it encouraged me to write the words, say the prayers and offer the advice.
I was the one for someone.
I wrote a book. For many years when I was writing the book (and writing other things like my blog) I wondered if I had any talent to write. In the back of my doubtful mind, was my high school English teacher, Mrs. Zaph. She saw something in me. She pulled me out of school to attend writing seminars. She encouraged me. For 38 years I thought, “If Mrs. Zaph thought I could write, then maybe I can.”
I wanted to thank my English teacher when my book was published and in my hand.
I moved across the country to go to college and rarely returned to my hometown. I never stepped foot in the halls of my high school again. I didn’t even know if Mrs. Zaph was alive. I did a quick google search and a “Rhoda Zaph” popped up in Arizona. And there was an address.
I crafted a letter starting off with, “If you taught High School English at Capital High School in the early 80’s, I think you taught me.” I went on to explain I had a published book and she had encouraged me to write. I mailed it.
Within a week I got an email reply starting out with “Oh, my word! I literally sat and cried for over an hour when I got your letter. No one has ever thanked me.”
She taught for nearly 40 years and no one thanked her! Wow! I was thrilled to be the one. On a recent trip to Arizona, we spent several hours together. We laughed and laughed. And then she asked me what else I wanted to write. I told her. We schemed about the topic, the format and the content. When I left, I was encouraged to write the next book. She e-mailed me later to say it was one of the best days she’d had in a long time.
Be the one!
Thank the waitress. Throw out compliments for jobs well done.
Thank the person who inspired you.
Thank the pastor who taught you Truth.
Thank the teacher or youth worker who saw you struggling and encouraged you.
Thank your parents – you were probably a brat to them and they still attended your sporting events and dance recitals and probably let you continue living in their homes.
But most of all -thank Jesus for the good in your life. Thank the Lord for being with you in the hard – not so good – times. Thank Him! Be like the one leper and shout “Praise God!” and fall on your face and thank the Lord for what He has done in your life. (If you can’t think of anything to thank Jesus for, let me know. I want to introduce you to the Savior I know who walks with me in the good times and the bad. The one who is always faithful.)
Be the one!
Has someone been the one to you? Have you been the one to someone? Tell me about it. I LOVE the one stories!
Shelly, that was beautiful. Thank you for being the one who lifted my spirits today.
Coleen, you are The One who has lifted me. You have encouraged me – and you are The One who bought multiple copies of the HARDBACK version of my book!