Saturday, February 02, 2008

Small things with great love

This afternoon I had the chance to sit at my desk and rifle through all the various bills and paperwork I have not been able to sort through for a couple of weeks. If you remember, over the Christmas holidays, we kept a jar on our kitchen counter with the words "Birthday Present for Jesus" on it. This was to encourage the children to put their money into the jar to go towards a Birthday present for Jesus. Of course we all know that Jesus doesn't "need" anything, so as we talk about what to get Him, we realize what He would really want is for us to give our money to help others. Then we go through the Samaritan's Purse catalog and pick out things to put our money towards. This year we picked clean water for a family, and two meals.

The check I wrote for this ministry was $114. In the scheme of things, it is not much. But it will feed someone, and give clean water to a family.

As I sealed the envelope, the image of my little girls helping daddy clean the basement, came to my mind. You see, they don't really have any money of their own. So my husband was having them help him clean the basement for some money to put in the jar. Up until then, they were adding nickels and pennies from their piggy bank.

I love this image of my little girls: faces beaming, ponytails scraggly, clothes dusty, as they proudly swept and vaccummed the dirty basement floor. They weren't paid much in the scheme of things, but they gave it all for Jesus.

I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words: "We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love."

And the Lord allowed me this beautiful picture of how it should work.

Sure, I can get bogged down in the depravity of this world. Can it ever be fixed? Am I doing my part? Could I do better? These questions should be asked.

But I'm thinking of Brother Lawrence. He said he "concentrated on doing little things for Him, since he was unable to do bigger things."

So, for now, the little things. Love and attention to my family. Calm words and the teaching of Jesus. Helping put compassion in their hearts. If God wills, there will be time for the bigger things. But until then, in this season....small things with great love.

8 comments:

On My Mind said...

You ended this post with "But until then, in this season....small things with great love." How true! I used to struggle with this season of my life, but now I am cherishing it. Thank you for so thoughtfully sharing and inspiring...

Hannah said...

I agree, beautiful and thoughtful post... and I absolutely love your blog header! So pretty!

Goodlikeamedicine said...

I though of the M.T. quote this morning when I was cleaning poop out of the carpet!!! :) Thanks for this post. Amen!

Ann Kroeker said...

And you know, I got to thinking about the thoughts you've presented through the story, and I recalled something a friend of mine told me. She described a cartoon--she didn't have it to show me--that showed a person standing in front of what appeared to be ten thousand other people. The person in the foreground was saying, "But I'm just one person. What difference could I possibly make?" But then, stretching out behind her, the same thought balloon was popping up over the heads of all those thousands of other people.

The point being, of course, that if enough of us went ahead and faithfully did one, small thing, it truly would add up and make a difference.

Mother Teresa is an excellent example of that. She was faithful to get off the train and obey the voice or vision that came to her from God to help the one homeless person slumped in the sidewalk. She cleaned him up and helped relieve his suffering and die with dignity. It was the beginning of the Sisters of Charity that has stretched around the globe. One day, one woman helped one man. Even if it *didn't* add up, that is a very good thing.

Even those piggy bank pennies add up. The original idea behind the March of Dimes was to collect dimes--that's small--but those dimes really added up!

And the joy on your girls' faces as they worked for Jesus will add up in their hearts toward their future.

Thanks for the inspiration. What one, small thing shall I do today? Hm.....

L.L. Barkat said...

I have given you a small tag with great love. ;-)

Elise said...

Oh, Brother Lawrence... yes.

Sometimes I feel like I'm barely squeaking by in this life... doing just enough; not quite enough; too much. I wonder if He shakes His head at my frantic scrabbling...

If I am near enough to touch- physically touch- another human being, I am capable of those "bigger things". Kristi made me laugh when she spoke of "poop in the carpet"- so true. So "where I'm at". :)

Thank you, friend. (((Andrea)))

AIMEE said...

LOVE LOVE this post. I was reading today about a fellow mom that uses her laundry room as a "prayer closet" and seeing the reality of Jesus in her daily tasks. It gave me lots of tears...then I read this and had lots of chillbumps :) I can get so wrapped up in "big things/big dreams" and feel a sense of guilt that I can't do them...forgetting that He has called me here to be faithful in small things...to bloom where I am planted.

jenn said...

first time here. sometimes the world can seem overwhelming. thank you for the reminder that little things really can go a long way.