Small is beautiful

March 28, 2020

When the little things are the big things that matter most of all.


How much do the little things matter to you? Maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know, but the little things have come to matter more and more to me. The handwritten letter, the unexpected text, the friend who calls with no agenda other than to find out how you are.
Little things. But they matter.


I think it’s the little things that tell us, in greater depth than any grand gesture could, how much we matter to someone, because a little thing is often spontaneous, it’s the thing that says, “I thought of you just now and I wanted you to know”.


Life, if we let it, can become so busy that we don’t have time for the little things. And I think we suffer for it. I think our relationships suffer for it, because it seems to me it’s in the little things that we find real connection. The shared moments usually appear to be made up of little things. A coffee break conversation. A quick but heartfelt hello. A “How are you?” asked with real intent to stop and listen.


I have a friend who tags me in Facebook memes. It’s a little thing that never ceases to make me smile. I have another friend who randomly sends me squirrel pictures, just because it’s ‘our thing’. And even now as I’m thinking it through, maybe those little things aren’t such little things at all. Maybe those are really the big things, the things that matter most of all.


“Jesus wept” is a little verse in the Bible, in John chapter 11, verse 35. Now I know that we could spend a whole sermon unpacking the meaning behind even those two little words, but what I am going to say is what that little gesture from Jesus has meant to me today. Because I wept today. It was a little thing that happened, but still I wept, because even the little things can affect us in profound ways. And sitting at my desk, chastising myself for crying over something beyond my control, something I don’t even know the outcome of yet, this little verse came to mind.


“Jesus wept.” I’m mostly a solo runner and I’m mostly very okay with that, but it does mean I tend to have the occasional one-way conversation though, so you need to imagine me sitting at my desk asking — out loud — why am I berating myself for something so human? When something hurts, we cry. When something isn’t right, we cry. When we see sorrow around us, we cry. Why would I think that’s not okay for me today?


If Jesus, as God in the flesh, was fully divine and fully human, was human enough to shed tears, why the heck would I think that wasn’t okay for me? Little things. A little verse cleared some fog today. A little text message made me smile. A little tag in a meme made me laugh out loud. A little caffeine helped too.


More and more I think the best things in life happen to be the little things. And I think those little things are more than worth the moment it takes to set them in motion. Today, and tomorrow, and hopefully the next day too, I’ll keep looking out for the little things. And I’ll be a little more mindful of the little things I do too.


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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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