JANUARY 31, 2022 – Today my mom would have celebrated her 103rd birthday. With a grateful heart and a knowing grin, I look back on Mom’s life -- and a resume' that goes something like this:
“... Symphony harpist, piano teacher, single mom, court recorder, journalist, artist, professional interior decorator, syndicated columnist, seamstress, novelist, secretary, jewelry designer, Girl Scout instructor, golfer, church choir director, Harpo Marx performer, hair stylist, health enthusiast, comedienne, charity bazaar coordinator, Welcome Wagon hostess ... and ardent fan of Elvis Presley.”
The latter wasn’t always so. Like countless other moms in the 1950s, she had lined up all her daughters and issued us this stern warning:
“Don’t have anything to do with this new rock-n-roll guy -- he’s bad news!"
So we managed to live life without Elvis. Amazing.
Fast-forward fifteen years. Imagine my shock when my young daughters and I visited Mom in California, only to be greeted by a roomful of Elvis memorabilia. Everywhere we looked, festival hats, posters, banners...!
My phonics-meister preschooler stared at the giant poster.
"Gwamma, what's a ELLL-VISS?"
"Oh honey, he's a wonderful man!"
I was stunned. “Mom!”
She told of the day Elvis came behind stage while she was tuning her harp. He told her how beautifully she played, then sat at the harp while she showed him how to work the pedals and strings, thanked her for being in his orchestra, and treated her with genuine kindness and respect.
It cost Elvis nothing but a moment of his time, yet in that moment, his sincere interest in the passion of Mom’s life changed an irate mother into an ardent fan.
The power of kindness and encouragement.
The beauty of it is, we can have the same effect on those around us --
often just a smile, a touch, a word, a listening ear,
or a sincere interest in someone's passions or dreams,
can make all the difference.
This power of encouragement and kindness can win a heart, or a new friend. Even change a life.
I wonder who God will put in your path, and mine, today.
Be encouraged: 2 Corinthians 1:3,4
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