It came in the mail after a short conversation. A little box, wrapped in brown paper. I didn't recognize the address at first, but then began putting it together as the listing of a worship leader I know Colorado. What was inside changed the way I think about intentionality.
Snacks, tea, lip balm, mints and three (not one, not two, but three) handwritten notes of encouragement. Each to be opened a day at a time in the middle of our women's conference that would begin two days later.
She took time to pause.
When we spoke on the phone a few days earlier, her final question to me was a very nonchalant "now, when does the conference start?". In her thoughtful effort, she, as I can only imagine, began to plan the blessing: What possibly would I need or would find handy to have in the middle of a conference? How should she best encourage? When would she need to get it to the post office so it got to me in time? Planning. Effort.
She took time out of her life to make sure I would be well supplied for what could potentially be a very challenging and full week. Each day as I opened the letters, she had written words of encouragement, prayers and verses to keep me motivated all scripted on cards that were equally thought out and selected. (Not your run of the mill blank cards). ((((LOVED THEM)))).
People are thoughtful, you say. They do nice things.
Here's the kicker... I've never met her.
This ministry friend and I were connected last year through a Pastor we both know. We've talked on the phone three times in the past year, emailed a few times back and forth and have discussed working as a minority in worship ministry (read: being women (instead of men) who as Worship Pastors lead the team).
Bottom line, this single act of thoughtfulness has made me think more and more about 'being' ministry instead of 'doing' ministry.
She acted as the hands and feet of Jesus to encourage, bless and PAUSE in her busy ministry schedule to do so. As one motivated by checking off the to-do list.. that's hard for me to do. (Anyone else?)
I've been so inspired, I'm looking for ways to 'return the pause' to those around me. To stop - pick my head up - look around - and see, really see those around me who just might need a little lift.
So - to my friend in Colorado, You Rock. Thank you again for the package and thank you for wrecking my heart in the best way possible.
Tara is Greg's girl, mom to two sons of thunder, a hunger fighter, big dreamer and worship pastor at seacoast church.