Tell Someone Day

Other than your regular holidays—ones like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day—there are some pretty crazy celebrations that a handful of (probably very invested and enthusiastic) people choose to celebrate. From “Fruitcake Toss Day” in January to “Wear Brown Shoes Day” in December and a bunch in between, such as the one on May 21st called “Talk Like Yoda Day,” everyone can find a reason to party.

Even though we may already have an overabundance of holidays on the calendar, may I still propose new one? I’m not planning to make it official with an act of legislation or anything, but I am working on the name, possibly “Tell Somebody What They Mean to You Day.”

You see, I’ve been spending time with a group of women, and we’ve been taking turns telling our stories. Even though I already knew most of these women fairly well, I’ve learned so much about them. I learned about their childhoods and their parenting experiences, and most of all, I’ve learned about their faith journeys. And for each of these women, they’ve mentioned someone other than a family member who loomed largely in their lives. They each had at least one person who stepped in a gap left by loss or doubt or natural consequences. Someone who showed up at just the right time and spoke spirit-filled words of encouragement and love and even reproof. After an anecdote about this angel in disguise, all of us would often say something like, “And to this day, she probably has no idea what she means to me.”

This exercise got me thinking: Who needs to hear this from me? Who are the people in my life who I rarely see anymore, but I would’ve been lost without their intervention? Who are the ones who modeled for me how to be a godly woman? Who are the precious souls who are walking around this world every day—doing normal things like folding laundry or making a sandwich or walking a dog—and they have no clue what their words and very presence have meant to me?

So I texted the woman who popped into my mind first, and I told her. I let my friend know that she made a giant difference in my life. I told her that she was my gold standard for compassion and leadership. Not that the date was especially significant, but I told her on May 11th. I’m not saying that this should be the annual date for “Tell Somebody Day,” but it’s a start. There’s no reason to wait until next year. Go ahead and tell someone today.

It’s like the lines from that Garth Brooks’ song:

“’Cause I’ve lost love ones in my life/Who never knew how much I loved them.
Now I live with the regret/That my true feelings for them never were revealed.
So I made a promise to myself/To say each day how much she means to me.
And avoid that circumstance/Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel.”

Washing windows

A few weeks ago I washed the inside and outside of most of the windows in our house. This is worth mentioning because I often feel like I don’t have enough time to do a thorough job of cleaning up. Sure, I’ll sweep floors and wipe countertops and do a little light dusting, but how frequently do I take the time and spend the energy to move furniture to wet mop the floors or wipe down the countertops and the cabinet doors and the tile backsplash or dust the ceiling fan blades and the baseboards?

 

Well, it was a pretty Saturday and we had no where we had to be until that night, so I started taking down window screens to hose them off. I even stood on a ladder to clean the transoms at the tippy top. I felt like Martha Stewart was whispering in my ear, guiding me through all the steps, and she was pleased with my labor. (Her magazines are chock full of cleaning tips, though I have to wonder how often she’s the one who’s actually Windex-ing the windows of her vacation home in the Hamptons.)

 

Once it was done, and the sun-dried screens were replaced, I sat in our sunroom and marveled at how clearly I could see the world outside. The dirt and dust had accumulated so gradually on all those windows, so that I had no idea just how hazy and obscured my view had become. It’s like the day I got glasses in the 9th grade. As we were driving home, I kept looking out the car window and seeing details I never would’ve been able to see before my vision was corrected. I kept remarking to my mom, “I can see each brick on that building!” or “There are separate, tiny leaves on that tree!” It was a revelation.

 

It’s incredible how easy it is to get used to living in a way that’s unnecessarily bad for us. Over time, we can stop questioning what we intuitively know to be unhealthy and just accept it like it’s our only option. Then there are some instances where, due to our past experiences, we don’t know that there is anything better.

 

It reminds me of the story of Saul (later known as Paul) meeting the crucified, risen, and ascended Jesus on his way to persecute Christians. Saul was blinded and dropped to his knees in sheer panic. He asks, “Who are you, Lord?” and Jesus introduces himself. It’s an amazing story, and one which Paul (“Saul” no longer) recounts to King Agrippa years later as we see in Acts 26.

 

Paul tells the king that Jesus was sending him to go and bear witness. Christ told him, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” I love this scripture for lots of reasons, but also because these are the words we used in a prayer group I was a part of a few years ago. We’d randomly choose staff and students from our school to pray over, and that was what we’d pray. Without knowing any specifics about these precious souls, we’d ask that God would open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light. We prayed that they would no longer peer through smudged, hazy glass and think that was the best life could offer. We hoped they’d experience their own eye-opening revelation.