Last week I was working with a friend from church on bulletin boards for children’s church. There are so many boards to decorate! She had wonderful, creative ideas but looking at the work ahead of us, I know I was overwhelmed. We talked a bit about the impact of such things and agreed doing projects like this makes a difference. It’s just in a way you might not know this side of heaven. One of those things that you believe is a “seed planter.”
The next day I looked up my reading plans on You Version and was so encouraged. I don’t know the author or the reading but the message hit me good. The author wrote about a test he had to take in school that was in French, not his first language. He translated everything but one word, he’d never seen it before. None of his friends had. He got the test back and did well, despite not knowing that word. He forgot about it.
Fast forward many decades and he is on a street somewhere and sees a truck that has that same French word on it. He said no matter how many decades passed him by, that word came back in a matter of seconds. He asked his colleague what the word meant. It was scaffolding in French.
I think what we do to encourage others is like that French word for scaffolding. We do it, hope it matters, but we move onto the next thing. Decades pass and then you have a jolt from the past.
For me, my scaffolding came in the form of a pastor. Thing is, he wasn’t a pastor 18 years ago. He was a kid in youth group and he seemed to always be in trouble with the leader, his dad. As leaders and mentors we wondered if we made a difference, especially when some meetings lost focus due to this son’s antics.
He felt back then called to be a pastor and it was a huge faith stretch to see it, but I remember praying for him for years, way longer than I knew or stayed in touch with him. My best friend is the one that updated me. He’s married, with children I believe, and is a pastor. He gave the message, I believe, at his home church and started by calling out certain names. They were the youth team members. He apologized for his behavior and explained whether or not they knew it or felt at the time, they really made a difference.
An eternal one.
May it encourage you!