Christianity is based on a puzzling premise, that attaining heaven means surrendering the big things like power, wealth and pride, and embracing the tiny and humble. Christ talked about small, ordinary objects in his stories, such as fig trees, lilies, sparrows and seeds.
He never said becoming rich and powerful was the key to heaven. Instead, he said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” A child has a trusting and humble heart, and doesn’t require lavish surroundings to be joyful.
The widow in the New Testament had only one coin to give in the temple, which was nothing — but became everything because of her generosity. The crowds were famished, but there were only a few loaves and fishes, until Christ multiplied them to feed everyone.
In her poetry, Emily Dickinson captured a childlike sense of wonder, as she observed nature. She wrote, “To make a prairie it takes clover and one bee. One clover, and a bee. And reverie. The reverie alone will do, if bees are few.” She knew that one tiny bee makes a difference in the world.
Sometimes I look outside and survey the big projects — weeds needing banishing, hedges needing pruning — and feel discouraged but then I spot a robin splashing in the bird bath and a chipmunk scooting through the grass — and I’m delighted. God’s fingerprints are everywhere, even in the humblest creations.
Big responsibilities can wear us down, while small moments bring joy. A star glistening like a rhinestone, an inchworm patiently creeping along, a child taking our hand. My friend, who has raised four children, has a sign in her home: “Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
Lorraine’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.