|S I LOADED dishes into the dishwasher, I sang along with the radio. My grandson looked up from the picture he was coloring and said, "Grandma, there's one thing about you that I don't like." Anticipating what he was going to say, I asked, "What? That I sing all the time?"|
"No," he answered, "It's not how much you sing, it's how BAD you sing."
Once again, I was reminded that God did not bless me with a good singing voice.
I used to wish that I were a wonderful singer, so I could entertain thousands of adoring fans packed into crowded stadiums. In reality, my singing can't even please one six year old.
I also used to wish I were a great orator. I've always envied people who could speak eloquently. I have trouble completing a sentence that can be understood by a preschooler.
I may not possess the talents I would have preferred to be born with, but I still have the ability to change the world . . . and so do you!
Changing the world doesn't require wealth, talent, or a huge investment of time. Right now, you (yes you), with your current limitations and abilities, have tremendous power to impact others.
Don't believe me? Have you ever had a day in which everything you touched went wrong? When you were at the end of your rope, did someone speak a kind word or help you out? Do you remember how it warmed your heart and perked up your spirit? Small, loving acts make a profound difference. Everyone longs to feel noticed and appreciated. That's why it means so much when someone surprises us with a simple act of caring. It assures us that we matter.
Discouraged people are everywhere. They need you. Don't overlook opportunities to make a difference in someone's life. A smile, a note, or a phone call won't take much effort, but they can make someone's day. Not only will your kindness be appreciated by the recipient and rewarded by God, but it will enrich your own life too.
Many folks say, "I'm just one person. I can't make a difference." If you've ever been on the receiving end of a hug just when it's needed, you know one person's concern is powerful. Do you compare your contribution to a tiny drop of water in the huge ocean? Mother Theresa's view was that the ocean would be less without that one drop.
There could be no mountains, if not for the tiny grains of sand from which the mountains are made. Little things pack a big punch. Encouragement takes only a moment to give but it delivers an important message of love and concern to the recipient, and it could last a lifetime. Your empathy and time can lessen someone's load and make their life journey easier.
We may not speak like Billy Graham or sing like Frank Sinatra, but we each have our own unique talents. Have you considered that you may be exactly what someone desperately needs?
Open your heart. Show you care. Share a little love.
Here's a great way to share a little love! Send a cheery card and a smile to a child suffering from serious illnesses like cancer. Visit the HUGS and HOPE Foundation's web site to read the stories and see photos of kids in need of cheer, and mail a card. www.hugsandhope.org One of the smiles you create just might be your own.
Marsha Jordan is a disabled grandmother, author, and shower singer who began her writing career on the bathroom walls of St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School. Now her writing appears in restrooms throughout the country. Jordan has two boys, ages 30 and 55. She's been married to the 55 year old for 31 years.
She's been held captive for a quarter of a century In the north woods of Wisconsin where she shares an empty nest with her rocket scientist husband and their badly behaved toy poodle, King Louie who rules the household with an iron paw.
After her grandson was badly burned, Jordan created The HUGS and HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit charity devoted to cheering critically ill and injured children.
Jordan's inspirational and humorous essays are available in her new book, "Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter." The book is illustrated with drawings by kids who are battling for life.
More columns by Marsha Jordan