Appreciation

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  I John 4:11

I’ve discovered there are many ways we can SHOW our love to others. Because this is Valentine month, I chose to share a tender story that illustrates this truth.

Helen Mrosla, a teaching Nun, tells of the day her kids were fighting in class.  So she made them take a piece of paper, list names of all other students, and write something they liked about each one. Then she wrote the name of each student at the top of a fresh sheet of paper, listed all the nice things other students said about them and gave that paper to them. As the students read their papers in amazement, they each said, “I never knew anyone felt that way about me.”

Helen moved away, but years later when she visited the home-town again, she was told, “The Ecklands called to say their son was killed in Vietnam and would like you to come to his funeral.” After the service, Mark’s former classmates all gathered in his family home, including Helen, their old teacher.  Mark’s dad said to her, “I’d like to show you something.  I found it in my son’s wallet.”

Opening a billfold, he removed a familiar sheet of paper, now yellow and worn.   It was THE LIST of all the good things each of his classmates had said about him. As she began to read, she noticed others were opening purses and billfolds…they produced their copy, too.  Helen said, “All I could do was just sit there and cry.”

What would make a boy carry a fifteen-year-old-paper everywhere he went…even to death in a rice paddy halfway around the world? The answer is “appreciation.” There are people all around us today who are hurting for love and appreciation.  We have the love of God within us!  Let’s give it out to others in some way today.