Treat ‘Em Like They’re Dead

What a nice, Christmas-y title, isn’t it?

A number of years ago, the pastor at the church I was going to said something that stuck with me.  I can’t remember what the sermon was about, or anything else about  the message, but this, for some reason did.  He said “Do you want to know how to truly honour people?           Treat em like they’re dead”.

It’s true isn’t it? I’ve never been to a funeral where bad things were said about a person.  We say the best of the best about someone once they’re gone, probably because losing someone has this way of bringing into focus what is really important.

So why do we so often wait? Why are writing encouragement cards such a rarity in our lives? Why are we each not receiving and writing at least 1 a week to the people in our lives who are still here, and tell them, (in a hopefully-not-morbid way), what we would say if they were dead.  Because surely, what we would say, would be really, really good.  And really, really true of the person they currently are.

Anyway that may be the longest intro in the history of this blog, to say that this week, I felt that honour.  My husband, whom we’ve already established is a wonderful person, went ahead and made me a little scrapbook.  And inside said scrapbook was note after note after note from people in our church writing me encouragement cards.  Writing ways in which they loved me.  Writing about my gifts. Writing about the ways I shine. (Because, it’s true, we all shine at something).

And oh, was it ever what I needed. (I was sobbing before I’d even read the first note….I guess it was just that kind of day…) Sometimes in the line of work I’m in, it’s really easy to think that you’re not really making any kind of dent.  Any kind of difference at all. And Ben gathered all of these letters from people of all ages (including all of my youth, which are probably the most special ones) specifically so that when I have days like that I can pull out the book. and be honoured. And he did it so that on days when I’m tempted to believe lies that I’m just not quite cut out for this job, or actually, cut out for much at all, I can read words of truth.

So thanks to my church family, and thanks to Ben. We honour the people in our lives that we’ve lost, because that’s exactly what we should do.  But we also need to honour people who are living all around us.  And, speaking from experience, a few words on a page can make a world of difference.



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