And when I look back at this blur, it's hard to recall all the lessons I've learned, in fact..impossible. And even more impossible to type most of them out--it would take too long! But I am a huge advocate of self reflection. Looking within ourselves, meditating on what we are doing, what we are thinking, what our motives are, etc. So I have done this a little bit today, and although it's hard to sum up a year in a single idea, this is my frail little attempt :P
Zechariah 4:10 says this "who has despised the day of small things?"
This verse isn't' necessarily one you memorize in AWANA or see on a bumper sticker, but as I read it over and over, I just loved it. The verse is a reply to those who were disappointed that the new temple wouldn't match the previous one in size and splendor.
In 2009, I started to take more notice of the small things. How much they affect my life, others, and of course how God has always, and continues to use small things..here we go!
:: A simple decision--to show up. So much of my year was transformed by showing up. It started last Jan. when I showed up to the MLK celebration. I met Gena. She's now one of my best friends and I forget what life was like before she was around. Then, after hearing so much about the riverfront and hanging out with some homeless folks, I finally showed up. It, too, has changed my life. And then when I really was supposed to be studying by most people's standards, but I decided to show up to the latest Invisible Children screening...wow.. I could go on, but really..it's incredible the things that happen when you show up.
:: A phone call-- I had no idea what Nuru international was. I didn't even know who Rebecca Cummings was yet, but she knew I "organized stuff and loved africa" so told Nuru to call me to be the Marshall rep for BH20. The next thing I know, Be Hope to Her is more than an idea. It's a beautiful group of people taking initiative to do something amazing and then accomplishing it, building a well in Kuria, Kenya.
:: A dollar-- That represented so much more.
:: A hug -- one that says goodbye, one that says hello, one that says I've missed, or maybe the best kind, one that says, I'm with you. I had a lot of those kinds of hugs this year, especially in Swaziland. I hugged people I had just met, but I meant it and so did they... Genuine affection. Simple act, yet much deeper than that.
:: Running water-- when the water was off in Swazi, we had to walk and get it like the rest of the community. Pump it, carry it, and then savor it. There's no fancy metaphor with this one, it just made me more appreciative...period :)
:: A stack of coupons -- something I received each Sunday from my Mammaw before she passed away in September. Not just carelessly cut out, but from specific stores and restaurants I loved. Tedious work, but she did it with joy, because she loved me. It was a small way to show big love, and now I save the final stack of coupons I received 2 days before her stroke on my desk to never forget.
...Never forget Mammaw, but also never forget that concept. The power in simple things, that is. God used a staff, a penny, and a stone to change the world. Maybe God works through you with a kind word, maybe a hug, maybe you show up, or maybe you cut coupons, but whatever you do, do it with love and watch.. :)
p.s. JJ Heller- The Little Things