Today, while picking up odds and ends from my laundry room floor, I came across a tiny pendant that used to be part of a necklace. I was near the garbage and in a clearing/throwing mood, but something stopped me as I realized what the pendant represented.
Several years back, I belonged to a faith-enrichment group, and after we’d been meeting for a while, one of our members presented each of us with a gold necklace bearing a tiny mustard seed encased in a small, plastic, heart-shaped frame. Attached to the mustard seed was a wee tablet bearing the words from the Bible: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Even though the chain is long gone, and the pendant should have been buried among the hoards of things that have passed through our home of seven people over the past years, there it was, and here it is now, reminding me that the little things really do matter.
Little things, like a smidgeon of faith.
Little things, like making macaroni and cheese for my 3-year-old.
Little things, like cheering up a hurting friend.
Little things, like making an extra effort to be an understanding mother, even when my reserves are at their lowest.
We parents especially tend to devalue our role in the world, but it is not small at all, even when the fruits of our efforts seem hidden and, on some days, nonexistent.
Heather King wrote about the small things, too, in her memoir, Redeemed. And once again, I find her reflection fitting my Lenten focus. Here are a few of her thoughts of “the small things.” (p.136)
“So the small act matters, and we don’t know where, if at all, the seed falls. After a while, we don’t care where it falls. We begin to sense that nothing is wasted, no act goes unseen…The small act doesn’t bring success, it brings peace. It may not bring riches, but it brings at least an occasional moment of acceptance. It might not change anybody or anything else — but it changes us.”
So, even when the small things seem insignificant and unworthy of our time and attention, know that they are probably just the opposite. Do not lose heart! With the right conditions, in time the mustard seed can grow into a magnificent, sprawling tree.