Have you ever wished you could say ‘Thank You’ to someone whose words years ago had changed the direction of your life, but the person was gone? Perhaps the person had died or had simply disappeared off the radar.
It wasn’t long after S. had off-handedly invited me to contribute some scripts to a children’s radio show being produced by WBEZ-FM, the NPR outlet in Chicago, that she disappeared off my radar. Bill and I moved away, and began our family. We were busy with the work of starting a family. But after I’d accumulated a few publishing credits, I found myself wishing that I could thank S. for that first expression of faith in my voice. She saw something in me that I didn’t fully recognize about myself.
I tried searching for her over the years to no avail. Thanks for nothing, Interwebs.
And then, a couple of weeks ago at a ministry-related event we attended, there S. was, in the flesh! It had been about thirty years since I’d last seen her. I gushed joy (sans any sort of filter, so imagine “overenthusiastic Great Dane puppy” here) at being able to tell her how her invitation had changed my life. She barely remembered the original episode, but received the blessing-with-interest I’d been waiting to give her for three decades. And I was filled to overflowing as I gave that blessing away at long last.
It was, as broadcaster Paul Harvey famously used to say, the rest of the story.
Is there someone from your past you’ve had the opportunity to thank years later? What was the experience like?