Little Things (When Done in Love)

The world celebrates things done on a grand scale, the building of big things and awesome places, and it celebrates “great people” who have powerful connections, impressive credentials and great influence as celebrities.

My son and I had a conversation last night about how very differently Jesus viewed things. The disciples told the mothers of young children to get lost when they brought their little ones to Jesus for a blessing. Why would a great teacher have time for someone’s squalling brats? Be gone, women. He has bigger fish to fry.

Instead, our Savior took the children in his arms. He told his arrogant disciples that unless they became like the little ones in their simple faith, they would never see the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 18:3)

We often scorn little things in our lives, the mundane, the seemingly worthless things we do, day in and day out. The cleaning of a kitchen or bathroom, the changing of a diaper on a baby, shopping for groceries. Yet no act is meaningless when it is done in love.

Mothers know that the eye contact made with little ones while a diaper is being changed triggers some of the biggest, sweetest smiles. Augustine once said of his mother, “I would have perished a thousand times in my own filth without her care.” It really isn’t such a little thing after all, caring for a baby. Every touch and every contact with a child is a chance to ensure that child knows they are cherished, and that helps them grow.

It’s amazing what little things come into our lives from others that aren’t little at all. In the last year, I cannot tell you the number of times someone has sent me an email right at the moment when I needed encouragement. I received one from Germany a few weeks ago, and just last week, one from Northern Ireland. They were listeners who once heard me on the radio program I co-hosted. They just thanked me for the work I had done and told me what it had meant to them in their lives. The times I think that I wasted 20-some years of my life are always interrupted by a “little thing”—a kind note from someone that made all the difference, and I know it was God’s hand of kindness through people.

The example set by our Savior was unmistakable as you read through the Gospels. What you begin to see is that there are no “little things” in God’s economy when they are done in love. The woman at the well had a little conversation with Jesus – a woman he wasn’t even supposed to speak with as she was a Samaritan (and one who was co-habiting after numerous failed marriages.) That “little” conversation offered the woman eternal life — living water that would never let her thirst again. Many lives were touched in her village, because she carried that joyful message to all who would listen.

No matter how unimportant you think your life is, the little things you do matter. I have a friend I have known since high school. She has been in a wheelchair from a motor neuron disease since just after college. She lives in assisted care due to the progression of her disease. But thanks to Facebook, she is able to share music. My friend posts beautiful music videos that bless everybody who will listen. We swap music videos, and she occasionally posts on my facebook wall, “more music!” Together, we enjoy God’s blessing of music. She blesses my life.

The phone rang at home the other day. It was a very difficult day in many ways. At the other end of the line was a family friend of many years. “Just checking on you guys, seeing how you are doing…” A call at the right moment from someone who cares. What a head lifter! A “little” thing that wasn’t little at all.

What little thing can we do today that will serve someone around us? Every time I get impatient with the demands of a toddler, now nearly a preschooler, I am reminded of the example of our Lord. He could have so easily sent the mothers with children away. He had the credentials as a Big Person. But for all time He modeled for us what really matters, and He showed us how it is done when He took those babes in His arms and blessed them.

There is an old song with these words:

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

9 thoughts on “Little Things (When Done in Love)

  1. And even as you’ve posted these “little things” today, Ingrid, the Lord is using you to bless me!
    I have a big presentation to make today, one which I have spent innumerable hours on with little help from those in my group who should have been helping. But the Lord has raised up people outside that group to minister and assist–those “little things” you mentioned, to help me in this labor of love for an ideal and a young person and his family in my ministry. Thanks for sharing and being an instrument of His love and grace to me today. A Big Hug to you!

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post today. Its exactly what this bone-tired and weary mother of a three-week old and 18 month old needed to read this morning. What a blessing.

  3. Well said. :)

    “Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.”

    “But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister: And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many.”

    “He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.”

    “So shall the last be first, and the first last.”

    The whole character of the Gospel is inverted. Accomplishments that men say are a success, and the people that are most admired and praised, are almost always the things and people ignored by God. It is the little things and little people that the world despises that have great value in His eyes.

    We must pray for humility and poverty of spirit if we would please Christ.

  4. Ingrid, I cannot fathom the reasoning behind your thinking you wasted years of your life. I don’t see that at all. I see an accomplished woman, a mother an intellectual a person of immense generosity and humility. I have learned SO much from you, you have blessed my life in ways I can never thank you for. All that and your a mother extraordinaire. I am so proud to call you my friend.

  5. Ingrid I feel like I am not making a difference until we babysit for our beloved grandchildren I can barely keep up to our 18 month grandson. But when I hold him or carry him I think what a blessing . it truly is a gift from GOD and I am so grateful. Thank you Ingrid for everything you do. Jeanne B.

  6. Dear Ingrid,

    Your time on the radio was not wasted. Because of you I heard about home schooling. I admit when I first heard about it I thought anyone that did that must be crazy but I listened and learned about it and have been one of the crazy people for 12 years. My boys and I have a great relationship and I believe it is because we were home together every day. Thank you for introducing me to home schooling.

  7. Aw, thanks, Lori and Paula. I shouldn’t have probably used the term “wasted.” Sometimes the enemy likes to hiss that in my ear. What’s done for God is never wasted, and while God knows the true motives of our hearts, I know that the thousands of programs I did through the years had a lot of prayer. Wisconsin Avenue Viaduct near the studios was my “prayer” bridge because coming across it on my way to VCY, I would always pray about the program! I’m so glad something was used for good in your life! That closeness with our kids is one of the big benefits of home education. You just have more time with them.

  8. “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” – Matthew 10:42

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