Small things appeal to something in the heart – their very smallness drawing us in. Newborn babies, tiny puppies, sweet little kittens, all touch that tender spot. However, when it comes to living life we tend to gravitate to the big things. In an age where anyone can produce their own”Fifteen Minutes of Fame,” we all seem to be longing for attention and approval, and what better way to garner it than with something big.
Over two thousand years ago, Jesus stood in the Temple with His disciples watching as the people came to drop their gifts into the collection box. One by one the rich folks came by and put in their gifts, but it was one small, insignificant widow who caught His eye. Without fanfare she dropped two small coins into the box – such a small offering compared to the others. Yet Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “…this poor woman has given more than all the rest of them, for they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 2:3,4
We can easily feel insignifcant when we compare ourselves to the people around us who are doing grand and glorious things for the Lord. We want desperately to do something “big” for Him. But while some are called to do “big things,” most of us are called to live quiet, ordinary lives. We may feel we aren’t worthy or as though we have somehow failed because we haven’t done anything noteworthy in the eyes of the world and, more importantly, the eyes of God. We watch as they receive the attention and approval we long for and vow to try harder – to somehow find that thing that will matter.
All the while God is watching:
– the mom who, night after night, sits up with her sick child; the man who slips a few dollars into the hand of the man carrying the sign on the street corner; the elderly couple who serve in their local Food Bank every week; the family that takes meals to the housebound widower in their neighborhood; the woman who watches the single mom’s children so she can have a quiet evening to herself; the old lady in the Assisted Living who sends little notes of encouragement to folks who are suffering; the couple who deliver meals to the senior citizens in their town; the boy who mows his elderly neighbor’s yard; the little girl who saves a seat at the lunch table for the one everyone else ignores; the grandparents who pray faithfully for their grandchildren; the man who shows up every Sunday to set up the chairs for Sunday school …
– the untold number of ordinary people doing small things that, in the eyes of God, are so very big.
I can imagine Him turning to the angels in heaven and saying, “Look at my children. I am so pleased with them. They are giving everything they have.”
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25: 35-40
- The Gospel
- No One Is Righteous