What holds us back from helping another? I have thought about this and realized that I tend to make grandiose plans, and it is hard for me to settle for “something little”. I don’t want to just send one valentine, I want to send everyone a valentine. I don’t want to just stop by for a 10 minute visit to my widow neighbor, I want to bake bread and take it over to her when I visit and stay an hour. In the process of daily life, and being realistic about what I can manage, I end up losing heart and doing . . . nothing! Sad, huh?
Today I thought about the little things. Don’t they make a huge difference in your life? As I entered church this morning, a leader up in the front smiled and nodded at me. That was little. But I felt so much better, as it had been a discouraging morning. I know that took hardly any effort, and no forethought. But it made a difference to me! A big difference. I think it changed the outcome of my day.
Just think! If everyone just did something, no matter how small, what a enormous wave of good works it would create. If we all followed through on even 1/10th of our good intentions, it would transform our neighborhood, church or community. When I was a young mother, we lived in Holland. The Dutch housewives would come out in the mornings and wash their porches with a mop and a bucket of suds. They had a saying: “If each wife washes her own porch, the whole world will be clean”. How true! Each of us doing something small would have an tremendous effect! Doing something little reminds me of the children’s picture book—Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed—about how one ordinary little girl’s small act of kindness actually multiplied to touch everyone on the planet!
If you are like me, with idealistic plans that end up sabotaging your good intentions to love and serve others, let’s work on this together. Can you manage just a very small act every single day this week? Just one valentine to someone who might be lonely. Just one short visit, minus the homemade bread. A phone call. Even just a smile and a nod really matters! Something little. Loving kindness administered in small enough doses that you don’t overwhelm yourself and wear yourself out.
Are you up to the challenge?
Just something little.