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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Tell Them

This past Saturday evening at church, I stood in the choir area facing the congregation and looked out at the many beautiful faces in attendance. Right there in the front pew before me was a wonderful couple looking back at me smiling. My smile grew in response. At my first opportunity, I ran over and gave them a big hug in gratitude.

I won't share their names, just their first initials, D and B.

I know them. I have known who they are for quite a few years now. However, for a time, they did not remember me. Not their fault. I have changed a lot over those years. I hardly recognize myself. I will attempt to explain.

I got really sick with Lupus in 2011-2012, and remained that way for a good eight years, immediately followed up with a shattered disk in my back, which was immediately followed up with covid lockdown and my husband walking out the door simulateously, and just as I was getting my health back. Times were hell.

In the latter half of those horrific years, when I was mostly bedridden, about the time was back was breaking, there was a gently knock on my door. I opened it to this gentle couple holding out to me a homemade loaf of bread in the shape of a cross. They had some limited contact with me at church and were compelled to bake me this bread and bring it over. God gave them some sort urge to do this, and they followed it.

I had tears in my eyes as I accepted the gift. I was surprised, overwhelmed, and tongue-tied. I barely said thank you. I practically closed the door in the their faces.

Why was I inadequate in my gratitude? At the moment they brought it over, I was deep in physical and emotional pain. I was suspicious my marriage was falling apart but helpless to do anything about it, my health was precarious at best, and my physical pain from my back was not yet diagnosed at the time leaving doctors and me perplexed as to just what was wrong with me. I was miserable, hopeless, and isolated. Put all that together, and I didn't have the capacity to respond to such a kindness.

My family and I cut into the delicious, homemade bread, and then I went to bed crying at my situation and lack of appreciation.

But then, my thoughts went to that couple and the times I had encountered them at church. They were a quiet, praying couple who loved on the people around them in ways that drew almost no attention to them. They wanted no accolades. They simply wanted people to be joyful.

That realization gave me the first sense of hope I had had in a long, long time. I stopped crying. Just as the bread filled my tummy, I let their generosity fill my spirit. Love entered in.

Not long after, I went into remission from lupus, had my back surgery, covid locked everything down, and my husband walked out. Stranded alone at home with only my kids coming and going to care for me, I mentally held on to that kindness. It kept me hopeful. It was my foundation for rebuilding myself.

Covid settled in as a part of our reality, the world opened up again, and I returned to church. So did that couple. I joined the choir. There in the front row was D and B. I ran over to give them a greeting. They didn't recognize me. Of course they didn't. During lockdown, I had changed. I was much thinner, healthier, walking without a device of some kind, blonde, and smiling.

I reminded them of the kindness they had shared with me a few years previous. B's face lit up as she took over the description of the bread they had baked. Now, we glow when we see each other.

The simple sharing and breaking of bread has the ability to change a life. A foundation of friendship, a foundation of family, a foundation of Christian faith is in the sharing and the breaking of bread.

We talk about doing acts of kindness, paying it forward, paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, etc. Do we talk often enough about saying, "Thank you,"?

"Thank you," is a gift in return for a gift.

This couple's loaf of bread played a role in my physical and emotional recovery. How tragic would it have been if I had never told them how much they helped me? The gift they gave to me I was able to give back years later wrapped in a "Thank you."

Do it. Do it today. If someone did you a good, recently or years ago, go back and tell them. Why not? This is part of the theory of sowing and reaping. They sowed the seeds in you. Reap the harvest and share it with them. Loaves multiplied.

Thanks for reading!


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