Words from the closest

“Well done.”

That was all she wrote.

That moment last week was one of my highlights.

Here is why.

She knows me. I mean really knows me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m her big cousin and we are the closest thing to a sister we each have blood wise. I know that my 15 years advantage sets me up for her approval, but the point is she doesn’t have to approve at all.

She is, after all, in the stage of life to be hyper-critical. She is in her mid-twenties and she knows how everything can be done better (just like I did at her age).

So with an up close and personal look at her imperfect cousin, she could have ignored my post, but she didn’t.

And her response was, “Well done.”

My post was on the next year of milestones in my life.

I want my life to matter. I want it to be real and have an impact. But I am also realistic and very aware of my own sinfulness and shortcomings. And if there was anyone I couldn’t keep that from it would be my cousin B (not that she can keep much from me either 😉 ).

So I find her words the most refreshing and encouraging because SHE is saying it about ME.

Not the Instagram me, the blogging me, or the church me (though thank God that gap is smaller every day), but the real warts and all ME. She said those encouraging words to the real me.

Those words were more valuable than those further away because they couldn’t see what she sees.

Those who get reports on the news or the posts on social media will not understand a marathon run like the ones running beside each other or cheering from the sidelines.

B runs with me in this life. She sees the trips. She sees the injuries to myself and those I cause others. She runs beside me. She sees the sweat up close and the B.O. that is impossible to mask.

So when she says, “Well done.” It isn’t trite. It isn’t a guess. It is praise of the hard work that is laid at the foot of the cross to become holy.

The words from those closest to us hold more weight than those who are further away. It is real, and it is weighty.

In what way can we leave those around us with invaluable words that can only come from those running the race with us? How can we who see both the sweat and the finish line cheer on those next to us? Why are we reluctant to let those words fall from our lips or our fingertips?

Guys, words from the closest are probably the most important of all.

I challenge you to share a weighty word today. Give someone a smile or a tear. Give someone the strength to keep running their race. It might not cost you much, but it is priceless to the recipient.

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