Ten days before Christmas. A million and one things to do. And water had begun to leak out of the bottom of my washing machine.
Seriously? It’s been a year of “what will break next” in my world of home ownership. Water heater. Garbage Disposal. Sprinkler system. Air conditioner. Dryer on it’s last legs. And now…the washing machine. Ugh and double ugh.
Yes, my first inclination was to whine. But I quickly remembered what it was like in Uganda helping to hand-wash and hand-wring sheets. That quickly shut down my choruses of “poor me.”
Time to bite the bullet. So I headed out to my favorite home improvement store and began to look at the overwhelming array of washing machines and dryers.
That’s when I met Ted. He was disguised as a store employee in an orange apron.
But I soon discovered that Ted is really a kindred spirit and a brother-in-Christ.
He began to ask me about my needs in a washer/dryer. To adequately answer his questions, I had to share a bit of my life situation.
I told Ted that in just a few months, I would be a bride and would be moving, so didn’t want to buy the latest and greatest in washers and dryers.
Ted shared that he and his bride would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary right around our wedding date.
And he rejoiced with me about the incredible blessing of my beautiful love story. He commented that at this time of year, there are so many people who are sad or in such difficult life situations. He said that my “God-story” made his day.
Ted asked about my work, and I told him about my calling as a speaker and writer with Leave Nothing Unsaid.
And then Ted shared that he is a poet.
He recited one of his creations that could be the anthem of Leave Nothing Unsaid.
It touched my heart. And I think it will touch yours, too.
Last Words by Ted Harris
If I were told my time was short, In weeks that I’d be dead, I’d think of all the things and thoughts And praises I’ve never said.
I’d gather up all good thoughts To sing to family and friend, To let them know what they’ve meant to me Before I’d reached the end.
But why should I wait till it’s too late, If I’ve got praises to say, My family, my friends, should hear it now, …I think I’ll start today.
Recently, Minute Maid was championing a very similar message. This week, it’s a poet who also happens to sell appliances.
The simple truth is that our words matter. This message applies to us all.
As you prepare for Christmas, please press “pause.” Take a break from trying to find all the “perfect” gifts. Instead, take some time to write to those you love. Encourage and affirm them in writing. Tell them how much you love them. And as Ted encourages, start today.
None of us is promised tomorrow. And your written words, that can be read and re-read, will matter forever.
Today, I’m thankful for the gift of a leaking washing machine, because that led to a divine appointment with my new friend, Ted. Poet Laureate of Leave Nothing Unsaid.