The accolades were rolling.  One by one people stood up and recounted this adventure or that experience held in common with the individual in question. You couldn’t help notice the positive vibes going ‘round, as quiet laughter and whispers echoed through the auditorium. There might even have been a dab or two at the corner of an eye.

The occasion? A Bon Voyage Party that our school recently held for a student who was returning to her native country.  This student had repeatedly braved an 19 hour flight across long stretches of ocean to live with her aunt and attend our school for six years so that she could master English.  Now she was returning to complete high school in her native country. 

During assembly that week, this student was privileged to hear the good memories of her peers.  Shared experiences expounded upon as one by one students stood up and shared aloud.  The high times were washed down with cake and punch and finalized with a special prayer. 

It was a high day at our school. There was no way the honoree was returning home without knowing she was valued and appreciated by her teachers and fellow students. 

A few days after the send-off I asked my students a rhetorical question, “During that assembly how many of you silently wished you knew how much your unique qualities were valued?  How many of you longingly wondered, ‘Who appreciates me?’ ”

Face it.  We all long for affirmation. Words of affirmation may exist in fewer quantities than praises.

Face it.  We all long for affirmation. Words of affirmation may exist in fewer quantities than praises. Usually the only time they roll freely is at a funeral or memorial service when the honoree cannot perceive it!

But affirmation is also the oil of finely-tuned human relationships.  When is the last time you thanked someone?  The last time you emailed or wrote a note of appreciation?  The last time you expressed it’s not just what they do, it’s who they are, that matters? Why not do it today?

It may mean more than you know. 

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:3-6