small thingsStumbling along with my dog in the awakening morning light, I saw them. Three small things. . .three little stones on the frozen sidewalk. Something had dislodged them from their landscaping bed. Perhaps another human-dog duo out on their constitution. Before I brushed the stones back off the sidewalk, I let myself ponder their significance.  

So often I zip through my days paying no attention to random objects like small landscaping stones. Sometimes I doubt I even notice the sidewalk. But somehow I think 2019 is already starting off with a greater respect for seeing the small things that no one else notices. 

Little Things to Work With

Author John Duckworth noted that Jesus often selected the small things to teach big life lessons. A young boy’s fish and loaves. The widow’s meager coin. Mary Magdalene’s tears on his feet. Maybe God wants us to open our eyes too to the small things that he can transform into the matters of bigger importance. “That’s good news for those of us who have only little things to work with. Like a cup of water. Or a chicken,” writes Duckworth. “Or a word or deed so tiny it can’t even be remembered—except by the recipient, who may never, ever forget.”

So what small things have plopped into your day today? A funny text from a friend. An “I love you” note from your child. The hearty wave from your neighbor. Another driver yielding to you. Your spouse picking up your take-out favorites. Your pet snuggling extra close. 

Small Things, Little Gestures 

Designer and author David Cuschieri adds more perspective to seeing the little things with his words,“Never underestimate the power of a simple smile, a kind word or the acknowledgement of another. Little gestures can move mountains.”

Little gestures can be as simple as:

            • Complimenting someone on a job well done

            • Shoveling your neighbor’s sidewalk

            • Buying a few groceries for a sick friend

            • Picking up your pet’s doo on your walks

            • Letting a stranger take the better seats

            • Holding your tongue when you’d rather lash out

            • Helping a child make a card for his teacher

Seeing the small things can then inspire doing small things. Without being asked. No need to be noticed. Without caring if you’re thanked. 

Author and speaker Israelmore Ayivor describes how things tiny things move us forward, and I add, upward. “No step forward is too small,” he writes. “Just be sure it’s taking you to the right dream, then take more of those tiny steps.” 

Tiny steps. Little gestures. Mini moments. Watch out world, we’re on the lookout for seeing the small things that no one else notices. And doing the small things without being asked.

Excerpt from John Duckworth, Just for a Moment I Saw the Light, p. 217-218; Victor Books, 1994.

Excerpt from Israelmore Ayivor,Let’s Go to the Next Level, CreateSpace, 2017.