Friday, January 16, 2009

The Power of a Single Phone Call

I spent part of last week at a conference in a distant state. On the way out I flew through the New York airport, but on the way back my route took me through the Philadelphia airport. However, my parents did not know that, and when they saw that a plane flying out of the New York airport had crashed, they became scared for my safety. Of course I was never actually in danger, since I was in an airport hundreds of miles away, but they didn’t know that at the time. When I talked to my wife and she told me of their concern, I immediately called them and assured them I was okay. They were very relieved to get that single phone call.

Their reaction made me think how a single event, phone call, or piece of news can change a person’s life. How many people thought their marriage was great, only to come home and find a single note saying the marriage was over? How many people thought they were healthy only to go to their annual medical checkup and are told they have a serious problem? How many people thought their job was secure, only to have been told unexpectantly by the boss that they are being laid off? One conversation, one phone call, one email, or one note can change the nature of a person’s life.

But such single events need not always be negative. Think about how a single person showing care and concern for an at risk youth can make that youth feel important and give them the motivation to make something of themselves. Think about how one time of being there when a young person needs you most can make their entire life turn around. Think about how one church, or one youth worker, can change the life of a young person.

You can be an agent for change, with a single word, note or email to a young person looking for hope and direction in life. So go out and make a difference in the world.

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