The Smallest Gestures
Walking through the mall minding my own business I was aware of my surroundings. I could see the looks on people’s faces to get to where they had to go, to shop their little hearts out. Christmas was coming and everyone was focused on the task at had. Me on the other hand I was focused on making sure they stayed safe. I was hyper stimulated to remain vigilant. Nothing was going to happen in my mall as long as I had a say in it. I could see the child in front of me as I walked up on the family. The mother smiled as I approached. Her child stepped out in front of me and put her arms wide open. I knelt down and allowed her to hug me. “Thank you for keeping us safe.” The little girl said. I hugged her back and said it was my pleasure. I told her Merry Christmas. I looked up at the mother who said thank you. She grabbed the little girls hand and went along their way. I carried on my day, a little brighter then I had before. A small gesture of kindness from a small person reminded me you don’t have to be big or do big things to make an impact.
The small gestures or acts of kindness are fleeting from our society, or at least that’s the way it looks from this bloggers perspective. If you hold the door for someone, how many people will thank you for it? Now this is a tough test because some cities have a more hospitable nature then others. The other day I was at church. I was standing there during the invitation (it’s a Baptist church) and as I looked up my best friend and associate pastor was walking towards me. He put his arm around me and began to pray for me. At first I didn’t question it I just listened to his prayer for me. This was highly unusual, but the thought and sentiment behind it nearly took my breath away. I was trying to hold back tears. What a wonderful sign of affection. Husbands that bring home flowers, or the wife that make breakfast in bed. The notes that loved ones share in each other’s lunch boxes, all these things are the smallest gestures that can go a long way.
These days as there is so much hate in the world, now after two terrorist attacks in the UK in these many weeks, Love it seems is more important than ever. Luke 12:7 “Why, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” When you think about this verse and find that the author is saying one single hair on your head is so valuable it’s worth more then several birds. If God finds our presence that valuable then so shall it be. If the big things we do in the name of Christ is that important imagine that all of the smallest acts of kindness and love are also important. A smile, a hug, a phone call, or even just a message to tell a friend you are thinking of them and care. These small things can mean the world to someone in need. Believe that if everyone was so busy with their life to do these small things very little would actually get done. “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” Oscar Wilde The slightest gesture of love may go a long way to provide hope that otherwise wasn’t there. We don’t need to wear capes to be a hero. We don’t have to fight off an entire army, or cure a rampant plague, in the words of Christopher Reeve, “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Every day we are able to look beyond ourselves. Every day that we think to lift up those around us by even the smallest acts of kindness we could be a hero to them. What may seem small to us may be huge to them. We can’t judge what is going on inside of someone else. Asking to pray for someone in time of need, giving a firm hug, or even just a text to say hello may be enough. “One thing I’ve learnt about humans: you can’t judge their strengths by the size of their actions, but by the devotion of an act, no matter how small.” Dianna Hardy
Last year I was in the hospital for a few weeks. Just a couple days after getting admitted I woke to someone coming in and telling me I had visitors. I expected it to be someone from the church but the truth was 10 of my friends, brothers and sisters, colleagues from the military from all over the country where standing around my bed side. The overwhelming feelings of joy, sadness, shame, guilt, but above all hope, kept coming and coming. I was loved and I was being shown it. I was being shown how my friends thought of me, and what they would do to make sure I was okay. My faith and hope in people was renewed that day. I was lifted up and shown the goodness that can still be in others. Since then I have found the smallest of gestures make a big impact on me. Those impacts resonate now at a much higher level then they used to. There are two quotes that I’m reminded of. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia. The last is “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton.
It’s not hard to let someone cut in, in traffic. It’s not hard to hold the elevator or the door. It’s not hard to tell someone they look nice. It doesn’t take much time to send an uplifting text to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. In this day in time we have so many ways to communicate, and do nice things why do we let slip the opportunities to show Gods grace to all. 1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
In the Bible there are countless stories about small random acts of kindness that led to huge events. Rebekah watered a strangers camel’s and ended up being the mother of Jacob entering the lineage of Christ. Ester’s kindness to the King, which ended up playing a roll in saving her people, and David’s act of taking his brothers food to the front lines, this is where he fights Goliath. These small things, almost insignificant at first glance wouldn’t have made most people stop and think, but put them in the right place to make huge impacts on the lives of those around them. What little things can you do day to day that can make drastic change? You certainly won’t know until you start, and let history decide the rest.