Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Such a small thing…

“We can not do great things. We can only do little things with great love.” -Mother Teresa
“Little by little does the trick.” –Aesop

We recently had our last day of school-year programming for BTH Club, and are heading into our summer program which runs till August. I also just returned from an overnight sleepover trip with 3 of my 6th grade girls from the Club (an experience which turned into a fun time and held some answered prayers! Thanks for joining me in that!).
As last week came to a close I began to reflect on my past 9 months of working with the BTH ministry…and was reminded what a mixed bag of emotions a season’s conclusion brings. With such transitions I can look back and praise God for all the wonderful opportunities and growing experiences He gave me, and I can remind myself of all the things I want to continue to lift up in prayer!
I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when I seek to do something for others that seem to go unnoticed, unappreciated, or simply wind up feeling insignificant in the greater expanse of the situation. Have you ever felt that way? It can be discouraging to have such things happen. We may think, “What’s the point?” “Why do I even bother with this?” “Have I done ____ for nothing?” “Have I really made a difference?”
As I look back at many of the ministry endeavors I’ve pursued, including my time with BTH this year, I can remember the moments of feeling that way. And then I must remember for Whom I am really doing what I am doing. And I remember that my God is so big, and so great, and so powerful…and that I should not underestimate God’s sovereignty over all things…including things that seem small in this world.
Isn’t My Father the one who created mankind out of dust? Tiny, little, insignificant, trampled on, disregarded dust specks that we sweep away with our old socks or rags or brooms when we clean…taken from the earth and blown into with the breath of God Almighty became a beautiful creation emanating His image! Tiny dust specks can become something glorious to marvel at if the breath of God is in it.
And then you think of other “small things” such as: the one drop of paint that begins an artist’s masterpiece, or the one music note that begins the orchestra’s serenade, or the tiny pixels that compose the bigger picture…
We can think about the fact that God took a tiny, vulnerable, easily unnoticed baby boy…born in a tiny, unpopular community, in an overlooked stable, with no one else around, and “yet in that dark street shineth the Everlasting Light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” How cool is our God to pack so much power and authority over all generations for all time in such a small thing?
Jesus said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
Even a cup of cold water…such a small seemingly insignificant gesture, and yet our God will not neglect to notice, appreciate, and reward it.
Some of my kids have begun to learn the art of gratitude, and will say ‘thank-you’ or show a sign of appreciation to those of us who seek to love them, serve them, and help them grow. Other kids never seem to get their fill, and even when you buy them things, take them places, and show them exorbitant amounts of grace…they still don’t get it. They still don’t think to show a heart of thankfulness.
But it doesn’t matter. At least we should seek to make it not matter to us. We should seek to not let it affect our heart or motivation in loving others.
Maybe some of my kids at BTH will forget what we have taught them this year, and they will forget the acts of kindness and divine love expressed to them at the Club…but some kids will not forget. Some kids will remember the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, the conversations about their day and what happened at home, the words of Truth during Chapel and Bible Study time, the lessons about value and purity that Ms. Meagan taught them in Girls Group, the time I showed up at their court appointment, or spared them from being suspended, the new experiences and acts of generosity, the perseverant spirit of gentle love and steadfast discipline…the consistency of people investing in their life.
Even if I have laid only 1 brick down in the foundation of a child’s life, it is still 1 brick in a house where every brick counts once the building is finished. Even if my legacy is only 1 action, 1 word, or 1 prayer in a million for those kids, that staff, or that neighborhood…it’s still 1 in a 1,000,000 where without such it would only be 999,999. Right? Get the idea? Each small thing adds up, each ripple echoes into the next.
God will use each and every speck of dust, drop of paint, musical note, and cup of water that was given to those He loves, by those He loves. He will be faithful in “carrying it (the good work) on to completion” (Philip. 1:6). Let us be encouraged in our ministries as we remember Who it is we are serving, and the fact that nothing we do in His Name will go to waste in the vast story of someone’s life.

-Meagan, CSM Chicago Apprentice

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