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Simple Words of Encouragement

How one writer just starting out benefited from an act of kindness

How simple words of encouragement can change a life.

We often don’t realize the impact our words or actions have on others. I was reminded of that when I heard the news of the passing of Tim LaHaye, one of the authors of the bestselling Left Behind series.

Tim LaHaye was one of my encouragers at the beginning of my writing career, and now that I think about it, I realize that he probably had no idea how much his simple words meant to me. 

I believe the International Christian Retail Show (still called CBA at that time) was in Denver that year. My first book had just been published, and I’d traveled to the retail show to do a book signing.

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As I walked down a hallway with a friend, a man stopped me and said, “Do you have a book out?” I replied that I did and told him a little bit about my new book. “Great!” he said. Come do a radio interview with me tomorrow at 4:00.”

I got there a little early, and realized that my interview would be after beloved author Karen Kingsbury and famed artist Ron DiCianni. (Yes, I felt like I was in one of those “Which one of these people doesn’t belong in this picture?” papers that we used to do in grade school.)

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Right before time to start my interview, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye arrived to wait for the slot after mine. The irony of the moment wasn’t lost on me—a new author followed by two men whose books had sold millions of copies.

When I finished my interview with the host, Tim LaHaye walked up to me, clasped my hand and looked me in the eye, and then with great conviction he told me, “Don’t you quit writing.”

I can’t tell you what a jolt of encouragement that was for me as a new writer, and I’ve never forgotten his kindness that day.

What can you say to encourage someone today?

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