Big things are made of small things. That is worth remembering if you are feeling troubled over the immensity of the situations surrounding you. There are refugees flooding into Europe, natural disasters in many parts of the world, friends with families falling apart and the needs of children growing up in a crazy fast speed world where all they want is your time and attention. What big thing can I do? Well the truth is, I can’t ‘do big’ but I can ‘do small’.
Small things matter. It is what the world is made of. Just look at how are bodies are made up of billions and billions of microscopic cells fullfilling their own small, microscopic part. When one or more of those cells decides to abandon it’s own specialised role and go it alone in some other part of the body it reaks havoc on a large scale known as cancer. That’s enough to tell us that small things matter.
I can look back and find some very small things that happened in a moment in my life that helped me when I needed it most and shaped the way I felt and thought.
I was down, really down, feeling very alone as a foreign woman in a foreign country without a friend or so it seemed. There was a day when I pushed my pram with a small two year old running ahead of me when an elderly passer by looked me in the eye with a look of tenderness and touched my shoulder as she passed by. It was a touch from above that I needed at just that moment. She’ll never know it but I still remember that comfort to this day…such a small act of kindness.
I was probably no more than twelve years old when an uncle and aunt visited our home from overseas. Their visit probably only lasted a week or so. What I remember most is a conversation in the back of a car that probably only lasted twenty minutes in total. In that time I was captivated by true life stories of people who loved God and experienced His power in miraculous ways and who overcame their fears, even of dying. I was gripped and spurred on to believe in the same way they did. It shaped my faith for years to come. Just an aunt taking the time to talk to a twelve year old about the things that really mattered.
I can think of when I didn’t do the small thing that could have meant so much. Another aunt was ageing and I had felt an inner prompting for several days to call her just to say, ‘I love you’ not realising how near the end she was. When I finally went to make that call she had gone. I wonder what difference it would have made to her had I set aside my business and followed that prompt.
There are so many things we could say about small things but the most important thing is to remember that they are not without significance and shouldn’t be left undone.
As Mother Teresa said, ‘not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love’