I envisioned writing a lot more about the Small Things in Great Love initiative this Advent than I actually have. Turns out, these things I’m doing really are small. Really small. So small, in fact, that a #SmallThingsGreatLove blog post might typically look something like this:
I made cheerful conversation with the cashier at SuperSaver yesterday. The End.
See what I mean? Not a lot of meat there.
But you know, that’s okay. Not everything in life warrants a finely tuned story all tied up with a happy ending and a shiny red bow.
What I have learned in doing these small daily deeds is that this whole initiative has made me more intentional. It’s really easy for me to have very good motives – to desire to “love my neighbor” – but then fall short in the execution of that love. Keeping #SmallThingsGreatLove top-of-mind has reminded me to put love into action at least once a day.
Earlier this month I ran into my neighbor Mike at Walgreen’s. As we chatted amicably for a few minutes, Mike mentioned he’d been to three stores already in search of leaf bags. I advised him to try Ace Hardware. As I turned toward the automatic doors, though, it struck me. “Mike!” I yelled across the parking lot. “I have a ton of leaf bags in my garage. Don’t bother with Ace Hardware, just take some of those!”
I doubt I would have suggested that Mike help himself to my leaf bags if I hadn’t remembered the whole Small Things in Great Love. But that’s just it. This initiative has prompted me to be more generous on a daily basis than I am ordinarily. Mother Teresa’s words have inspired me to go the extra mile – or in this case, the extra inch (Mike, it should be noted, didn’t actually use my leaf bags).
It’s just leaf bags, right? It’s just a cup of McDonald’s hot chocolate. It’s just a thank you note to a stranger or a loaf of homemade banana bread for an elderly neighbor. All small gestures, most of them not even significant enough to warrant a blog post. But I don’t know. Something tells me these small, small gestures still make a difference.
“Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.” (1 John 3:18, The Message)