This past Memorial Day, I had lunch with some of my extended family. Right at noon, we served up hot dogs with sauerkraut, bbq chips, watermelon, cookies, and glasses of milk, punch, and water. It was your typical Memorial Day picnic fare that could’ve been served in any backyard or under any park pavilion. It wasn’t anything big or fancy. What made this gathering different, though, was that it was in the basement of First Lutheran in Over the Rhine.
As we gathered from various locations for the community meal, small moments and gestures of joy were everywhere. There were smiles and handshakes. Conversations were laced with words of gratitude. Damp washclothes wiped down tables in between guests and one guest pushed his lunch aside for a few minutes while he played spirituals and gospel hymns on the piano in the corner. By themselves, each of these didn’t amount to much, but together, these little acts of kindness swirled in a beautiful expression of our shared humanity.
God has a habit of using little things to do big stuff.
Mustard seeds, drops of water, and morsels of bread bring about transformation. A kiss or touch breaks down barriers of shame and guilt. A dash of salt adds flavor to an entire dish and watch out when someone lights a lamp and puts it on a lampstand. It gives light to the whole house! That doesn’t begin to mention a flower, a boy’s sack lunch, a coin, or a baby.
In these early days of summer, keep your eyes and heart open to notice the little things. It is there that our living God continues to do some of the best teaching about grace and hope. Far too often, we miss it.