She placed her hand on my shoulder after the prayer meeting in church and simply smiled when I looked up.
I stood up to give her a hug as I normally do and ask how she was.
Then I noticed the tears in her eyes as she quietly said
"I got a letter from your daughter today".
I was surprised that it had arrived so soon as our daughter Linda is living in South Korea, but I was pleased that it had. I knew that she had written but I hadn't mentioned it to Irene.
So I reminded her that Linda had told her she would write but Irene said she had not really expected her to take the time to do it for someone like her.
Whether she meant this because she is an older lady in our church, or because she is someone Linda only got to know while staying with us for 6 months between doing her masters and going to South Korea, or because she felt that she was an insignificant member of the church, I'm not sure.
All I knew was that she was so delighted by a little letter from my daughter.
She had brought it with her and took it out of her handbag to share it with me.
Written on little sheets of paper shaped like Panda's heads, Linda had just shared some random little incidents and feelings with our older friend.
I had to laugh because it was so typical of Linda - the cute comic paper to make anyone smile and laugh and then the little random stories.
Then Irene shared something else with me; she told me how she had woken up that morning feeling very down but that all changed when she read Linda's letter.
It was not a very long letter, but it was just an act of kindness that certainly made a difference that morning. In fact later our Pastor told me how this letter was the first thing she spoke of when he had arrived at her home to take her to the prayer meeting that evening.
So today I want to write about a very basic thing that more and more is getting overlooked by all of us these days.
A little thing like a handwritten letter can mean so much more to someone than we can imagine,
it can brings tears of joy to someone,
it can show love to someone,
it can say "I still think of you and care about you even when I don't see you"
it can just keep that connection fresh between two people.
A little bit of effort on our part can mean a whole lot of joy and encouragement to someone else.
So who are you going to write to this week?
Will it be a letter or will you buy a sweet card and add a greeting?
Will you make a card and give it the really personal touch?
Or will you think of other similar ways to connect with someone?
Let's see who God wants us to bless with our thoughtfulness this week.