In an earlier grade, she'd taped Mark's mouth shut for talking too much in class. Now, he was her student again in her junior high math class.
His class had worked hard all week. By Friday, the students were getting cranky. So, for a break, she asked them to write the nicest thing they could about every student and hand it in. She compiled the results for each student and gave out the lists.
Several years later, Mark was killed in Vietnam. After the funeral. most of his former classmates gathered with Mark's parents and me their junior high math teacher for lunch. Mark's father took a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark, when he was killed," he said. He carefully removed a folded, refolded, and taped paper - the one on which the teacher had listed the good things Mark's classmates had said about him.
Charlie, another classmate smiled sheepishly and said, "I keep my list in my desk drawer." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck put his in our wedding album." "I have mine, too," Marilyn said, "in my diary." Vicky reached into her purse and brought out her frazzled list.
"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary" - Isaiah 50:4
I think this little story shows just how much our words can affect others. Do we use the opportunities that we have to "speak a work in season to him that is weary"? Something to think about. Everyone has "weary days" and we can turn a blind eye to them and their difficulties or we can do our best to lift them up. We may soon forgoet the kindness that we've shown but the recipient probably will never forget.