What? Yeah, that is thank you backwards.
Outside of the sarcastic “Thanks a lot” you get from your in-laws, ungrateful kids or overworked co-workers. How an authentic "thank you" happens is fascinating.
Let's walk two "thank you’s" backwards and see why the thank you’s got expressed in the first place.
Last week we got a thank you card in the mail at the church, and I still don’t know who it was from. It was signed T & D. Why would the unknown T & D take the time to write a thank you card, and by the way included a donation to our church?
They explained that someone (maybe it was you?) brought them a parenting kit from Mt Ridge and gave it to their family! They don’t even have school age kids. They were so touched someone was thinking about them it started a thank you in motion. They sent a hand written note (when is the last time you saw one of these) addressed to “our neighbors”
It mattered to them because one of our families was thinking about them.
The next day I got a different thank you letter! Seems something is going on here??
This letter was from Naomi, a 93 year old lady living on her own who lost her refrigerator and all her food. Mt Ridge members Seth and Jen Deibel happen to her neighbors and they got involved.
They made sure Naomi not only got a new fridge (Seth went with her to Lowes to make sure they took care of her) but also got groceries (courtesy of Jen being a shopping wizard). Naomi was so impressed she obviously thanked them, but also felt she needed to write to the Deibel’s church and share with us how wonderful it was for her to have neighbors who care about her!
It mattered to Naomi because one of our families was willing to take action for her.
How do you get your thank you’s? Ask, think and act.
1) Ask people how they are doing? So often people will tell you what is happening in their life. You can’t fix it all, or maybe any of it. Giving them a place to vent is a great service. Often though, you will pick up on something you didn’t know. It starts the process.
2) Think - What would you want if you were them? Taking time to consider someone else is massive. When you take your limited emotional and mental energy and spend it on another person it is a great gift. The simple question what would you want if you were them, can spark all kinds of ideas.
3) Act – I love what Jon Tyson says about taking action.
Whatever you do, someone will criticize, correct, point out the one bit you missed, or highlight someone who did it earlier and better. Do something anyway. Jon Tyson
Don’t start second guessing yourself, making excuses or downplaying what you are about to do. Ask them, think and then do something.
My experience is the simplest acts often bring the greatest impact. I watched a mom on our street tear up over a Parent Kit. It wasn’t the paper and pens in the bag. It was someone noticing her struggle and caring enough to do something.
Okay, I know it isn’t really about getting the thank you! It is about loving your neighbors…and they need it right now more than ever.
God put you in their lives for a reason. If not now, when?