We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

One Quiet Invitation

Do you ever wonder if your efforts to encourage others will a make a difference? If your initiatives to offer kindness and help others will mean anything in the long run? Perhaps this story will encourage us all.

Today is the 80th birthday of Barry's Aunt Sue. A former second grade teacher, she has lived a quiet life. Apple orchards and grape vineyards surround her modest home on the family homestead in southern Michigan. She and her daughter keep a small garden. She reads and walks and attends church. She keeps up with us by writing letters.

Aunt Sue's birthday marked the perfect opportunity for me to thank her for what may have seemed like an insignificant event back in 1971. I don't think she'd mind if you read over her shoulder.

Dear Aunt Sue,
I've been thinking of how God has used your influence to touch the Phillips family. Barry often told the story of how you and Uncle Earl invited him to a Campus Crusade for Christ concert when he was 15. There he began to understand God's love and placed his faith in Christ for salvation. Little by little his faith grew. That decision forever changed the direction of his life story.
After college, Barry taught at and became the principal of a Christian school and moved on to become a professor and administrator at a Christian college. He brought up our girls in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Over the years, he aimed to love God and love his neighbor.
All because of one quiet invitation.
Barry touched hundreds of lives through his teaching, his leadership, and his influence . . . and somehow, Aunt Sue, I think you have a significant part in his legacy.
Now when we sing songs in church about eternal life and spending forever in heaven, tears run down my cheeks. In the end faith in Christ matters most - and because of your initiative, I have the assurance that Barry is with his Savior.
Thank you for not overlooking an opportunity to encourage a tall, gangly teenager named Barry. It made all the difference for him and for countless others. Have a wonderful birthday!
With Love,

I'm sure Aunt Sue had no idea how one invitation would bless so many. We don't know how our offers will influence others. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he wrote, "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

So, how has one quiet kindness blessed you?


  1. An artist friend is going blind. Every now and then I receive a note from her keeping me up to date as to how she is doing. She never speaks of her loss, only of the books she receives and listens to from the Library of Congress. M.L even recommends books to me that have touched her in a special way. She is able to knit caps, sweaters and booties for little ones giving them to those in need. Her notes encourage and bless my life. Her quiet goodness challenges me to "do unto others" as she does each and every day.

    1. Thanks, Vi, for sharing this story. Inspiring . . .