There were seven ladies sitting in the very cozy living of our pastor’s wife enjoying a Bible study and sharing our lives with one another. Extremely comfortable in each other’s presence, our guards were down.
We were bantering a subject back and forth, everyone chiming in, everyone voicing an opinion, everyone listening to the others. Then, suddenly, a dear friend, Eileen, said this phrase:
If only we understood the enormity of little things.
How that rang in my brain. All thoughts expressed before that and after vanished from my mind. All I could think on were those five little words: “The Enormity of Little Things.”
I asked her afterwards if I could steal her phrase. She said “What phrase?” I then claimed ownership of it. We laughed and she said she was going to have to pay attention to herself better! I told her to not bother, I would. We laughed again. But inside those words rolled around and around. And they still do.
In my last post (read it here) I talked about the fact that the Bible says we need to be faithful in small things and pondered what, exactly, are our small things. But these words rolled back to the forefront reminding me that those little things can be quite weighty.
Like the words “thank you” or “I’m sorry” or “I’m here.” Such little words. Tiny, actually. Yet strong.
There are hundreds, even thousands, of examples of little things that wield enormous power. Things that we may not understand are powerful. Like an invitation. It may be a little thing to you to include someone in on a party or event, you would have no way of knowing if that little thing was gigantic to the recipient. But it might be.
Or that hospital visit, or bouquet of flowers, or returned phone call or text, or releasing someone from a commitment, or that thoughtful little gift. All little things on your end, perhaps, but could be examples of my subject line on the receiving end.
A flower is a great example. Tiny petals, miniature buds.
This is a lovely bush blooming here in desert. The bright yellow and orange are startling against the landscape and I find myself mesmerized by them. Little things with enormous impact on their environment.
Isn’t that how we should be – impacting our landscape, standing out against the backdrop of our lives?
Ponder your movements throughout the day today, I challenge you. What little thing did you do that you felt impacted someone stronger than you imagined? Pay attention! How did the clerk respond to your genuine appreciation? How wide did the person’s eyes open when you held the door open for them? Did the fellow driver reveal shock when you allowed them to sneak in before you? Was your spouse surprised when you called to ask if they needed you to pick anything up while you were out? Did your patient’s worry lines lessen when you looked them strongly in the eyes and wished them well?
No, every little thing is not met with felt or seen gratitude. Yes, sometimes our kindnesses are compensated with negativity. But watch. Pay attention. Someone somewhere will let you sneak a peek at their inner feelings. Watch for it so you don’t miss it.
Not that we do those little things for that reward. Or we shouldn’t. But we know how we feel when we are the recipient of kindness. Others feel the same.
Be the little kindness giver today. And tomorrow. Well, why not all week?
Paying Attention to Little Things