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Small things done with great love

images (4Our neighborhood supermarket closed a few months ago and I had to find a new one. There is a great market one town over but it is very busy and always crowded. I’ve had to make some adjustments, which is never easy but it seems to be working. One thing that I struggle with at this new store is probably the most trivial, yet I drives me crazy. They lock up their shopping carts and you need a quarter to unlock it. All the carts have a chain with a lock on them that inserts into the next cart in the line to keep them together, but a quarter inserted into the slot will unchain one. When you are through shopping, you return the cart and as you lock it to the other carts, your quarter is released. I like the concept. It keeps the parking lot free of stray carts. My problem is remembering to take a quarter with me. I keep a few spare coins in the cup holder of the car just for this purpose but it doesn’t help me if I always have to return to my car to retrieve the quarter that I so consistently forget.

Yesterday, as I went to insert my quarter, I saw that someone had left their quarter and not locked the cart. I’ve seen this before, some kind soul who understands the frustration of not having change on hand had left the coin to make someone’s day a bit easier. I resolved to leave the quarter in place and so pass on the act of kindness to the next person so they don’t have to fumble in their bag or reach into empty pockets in search of elusive quarters.

I felt good as I left my unlocked cart, passing on the caring gesture to the next shopper. I returned to my car and saw the spare change sitting in the cup holder and suddenly realized what an empty gesture that stupid quarter really was. It didn’t cost me anything. That 25 cents wasn’t going to break the bank. I had no right to be so pleased with myself for doing something so trivial.

And then I remembered a quote from Mother Teresa:

images (4)

or perhaps this quote that I read:

“There are no great things, only small things done with great love.”

Think of all the little unimportant things that you can do each day to brighten another one’s life. Saying “Thank You”, holding a door open or sharing a simple smile. images (5)We may not get an opportunity to make dramatic difference in someone else’s life every day but we if we keep our eyes open we will find a hundred little “nothing” things that we can do each day to lighten someone’s load.images (6)

Lord, I ask you to help me to see the needs that are all around me. Give me the courage to reach out and help even if it may cost me dearly. But help me also to see the value of the little things. Help me to see the beauty of that particular shade of green that you chose for the grass outside my window right now. Show me how to be grateful for all you give me, including that soft heart that caused someone to leave a quarter in the cart lock so I didn’t have to trudge back to my car for change. Help me to see the beauty in all the “small things done with great love” that have been done for me. And help me to do the same for others every day.   Amen

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An Alabaster Jar

 

Alabaster vases KR showroom

Did she tilt the jar

And gently pour

Ah, no, broken

Given to the Lord

 

There at His feetdownload (2)

Perfume was splashed

As freely as

A child’s laugh

 

The jar I have

Is cracked and worn

It’s stood the test

Of many storms

 

But, comes a timedownload (1)

We benefit

from all these cracks

A fire’s been lit

 

It shines through

All the broken places

Its light spills intoheart leaves

Darkened spaces

 

Only now can the Potter

Repair, restore

My fragile heart

To refill me once more.

 

An alabaster jar

We live within

Split wide open

To You given.download

 

 

“where ever the Gospel is preached …

what she has done will be told”

for the Gospel is more than the words

it’s in her eyes, hands, feet and soul.

 


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Waterfalls

 

 

13319715_10209866861127389_6162260163033324150_nA short easy hike brought us to the top of this beautiful waterfall. The steep descent to the bottom, aided by trees to hold onto and roots to secure our steps, was fun. And then this magnificent view. It’s a pretty small waterfall as such things go, but for us –it was wonderful to find and enjoy. My husband climbed up the rock and sat down to watch the water cascading over well- worn stones. “Strange”, he mused. “It’s the same water going over the same stones, yet it looks different all the time.” I thought about that for a moment. The water is always the same yet seems to change depending on how the sun glints upon it or what color is the sky that is being reflected. The words “living water” came to mind.

 

 

 

 

Jesus Answered her, ” If you know the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water”. Jesus answered, ” Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:10 and 13-14

 

Christ is always the same and yet as our awareness of need for Him grows, He seems to change to fit whatever stage of life we are in. Of course, the whole illusion is that He never changes, only our perception of Him does. As we lean into Him more and more, we drink of that living water He offers us. The drink that will quench all thirst. Later in the same passage, Jesus also talks of “food” as “to do the will of him who sent me”. All of my basic needs (and oh, so much more) are fulfilled in Christ. What He offers us is beyond our comprehension and yet we are in such desperate need of. He offers life. He offers freedom from pain, fears, hurts, guilt and worries. He offers true security. He offers eternity.

P1020293

I am always reminded of this when I spend some time outdoors. When I can wander under his trees, or rest beside a stream, or feel his sun on my face, then I remember who gives me each day.  I remember who makes the sun rise and the stars shine and living water to tumble down from heights to tranquil pools below so I can dip my toes in the cool water– living water.

 

hebrews