This is the first day of the new liturgical year and the first day of the season called Advent in the church. It is seen by some as the time to anticipate the birth of Jesus. But, since in my faith Jesus has already been born, it is instead a time to look for Him in the people and situations around us. He has said that whatsoever we do to the least of these we do to Him.
After reading some very disheartened writings from people over the last two weeks, many trying to figure out what they should do with the state of the nation, I pondered an appropriate answer. It came to me as I reflected on the “small” things that people had done for me throughout my life and what enormous impacts they had. And in most of the cases, they never knew. I hope as I write about these occurrences during Advent, people may both remember similar instances in their own lives and also gain appreciation for the power we each have to make a difference in the world.
Grace lived next door to me from when I was three until I was eight. My mother was usually overwhelmed taking care of the younger kids, and I was on my own much of the time. Grace welcomed me into her house any time I wandered over. She gave me Ritz crackers once, and I told her how wonderful they were. We didn’t have snacks at home. Grace kept them in an upper cabinet and got them down each time I came over.
One afternoon, Grace told me she had moved the crackers. She had put them sideways in a lower drawer in the kitchen. I asked her why she had done that, and she replied, “So you can reach them.” That “small” gesture soothed my heart and gave me a sense of being cared for that I can still recall sixty years later.
Here’s to every such person in a child’s life.