Our culture has led us to believe that thinking big, dreaming big, or living large is the way to be successful and fulfill our life’s purpose. I’m not negating those things; I do think they have their place. I just want to offer a fresh perspective so we can begin to see our lives in a whole new light. What if doing a small deed with a pure heart had a larger ripple effect than we could possibly imagine? What if the small, seemingly insignificant, mundane things were what mattered most to God?
How often do we believe that our lives are insignificant or unimportant because we don’t have an impressive title, an important position, or a badge of honor of some kind? We wonder if anything we have done even matters. Sometimes we feel invisible or even like an outcast. It matters! It matters to God and He is taking note of everything, no matter how small.
I want to tell you a story about a small thing that has greatly impacted my life. I have a little, inexpensive figurine on my bathroom counter that I have treasured for 35 years. It is one of my most prized possessions. Its value is not measured by its rare physical qualities or beauty, but by the precious, loving way it was bestowed to me.
Many years ago, there was a maid at my college dormitory who thanklessly cleaned the bathrooms, kitchen, and hallways every day. She was a widowed grandmother, well past a reasonable working age. Nevertheless, her arthritic fingers curled around the dust mop that she pushed through the halls unnoticed, praying for each and every girl in that dorm. Her face was tired but kind as she faithfully did her duty everyday. Most days, the girls rushed past her without acknowledging her. She had become part of the woodwork there.
I’ll never forget the day she put an unwrapped Christmas gift into my hand and apologized for its lack of proper presentation. As she wrapped her worn, soft hands around mine, I thought of the sacrifice she must have made to give me this unassuming gift. My eyes filled with tears as I thanked her, but my heart broke as I realized how much I, too, had overlooked this dear woman.
After all these years, I don’t remember her name or even much about her face, but I will never forget her heart! I imagine her homecoming in heaven included a rich reward for her thoughtfulness and obedience in the small things, including her gift of my precious little figurine. The real gift she gave me was a heart filled with love and kindness. To me, there is no greater gift on earth!
When a person is feeling unnoticed, insignificant, or unimportant and we go out of our way to show love and kindness in the smallest of ways, it gives that person dignity. It gives that person a sense of importance and significance. At that moment we are being the hands of God to them. At that moment, we are doing the greatest thing we could ever do on earth.
In reality, it’s not us who puts the power in small things, but it’s us who willingly steps into them or notices them, acknowledging the still, small voice of God in them. So the next time you are wondering what you can do to have a big impact on the world around you and do something that will fill your heart with joy...
Written by: Karen Benefield