I was recently doing a devotional question that asked, “Who and what has taught you or impacted your life, and what lesson’s will you never forget?” I started to casually and quickly jot down my answers and was surprised at how many people have impacted my life even through the smallest acts. I have always heard that a small act of kindness or a simple comment can have a huge impact, but until I answered this question, I never really believed it was true. I also noticed how many people from church have had an impact.
First, the obvious influences from church are the pastors and Sunday school teachers. Sermons by my pastors, Debra Quilling Smith and Rett Haselden, have absolutely changed my actions in life. The church bands have motivated me when I needed encouragement, and God has even spoken to me through them. The discussions lead by the Sunday school teachers, Matt and Emily Bell, J and Elizabeth Morgan, John Moore, and James Williamson have certainly helped me grow. James Williamson has recently influenced us by using his knowledge of the Bible and helped us see how to use the Bible in our daily lives. Elizabeth Morgan may not realize that she has absolutely changed the way I act in life by simply mentioning a book by Brother Andrew in passing. That book taught me how to better hear God when he is speaking. The speeches I heard during the fulfilling freedom campaign have stayed with me as well. Too many names come to mind when I think of all the people who have welcomed me and made me feel like part of the church family. All these above are examples of the more obvious influences; however, I was surprised to notice how many others have impacted me by what may have seemed like only small actions. For example, Lollie Haselden, Clay Summers, and Jutta Faris were probably big reasons we joined St. John’s. When we were visiting, Lollie and Clay were standing near the entrance and were so friendly and welcoming to us as strangers. Then, Jutta approached us before the service, introduced herself, and even gave us a tour of the church after the service. Even kind words from my church family have stuck with me, like comments from Pat White, Marie Leonard, and Ida Newsom. Ida Newsom has made simple comments on how to show love to all of her church family that still sticks with me.
So what did I learn from all of this? I learned how greatly people affect each other everyday without ever realizing it. If others affect me so much; then how much can some small action or comment of mine benefit someone? I want to remember to use kind words and be friendly to all. I want to show thoughtfulness throughout my daily life. I want to remember that we never know when our small actions or comments are going to mean so much and even change someone’s life. I know some of these people I named never had a clue that they influenced me. My last thought is that if you know of someone who has influenced you, I would love for you to post it on this blog. You may just want to post a quick one-sentence thank you or maybe you have a whole story to tell. Please tell us who has impacted you.