If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones. (Luke 16:10)
Little Things Mean A Lot
If you are of a certain age (ahem), you might recall this song from the past, Little Things Mean A Lot. I recently heard the original recording sung by Kitty Kallen. As I was humming along, I began to muse about all the little things that mean so much . . you know . . . the ones that come quietly . . . that gently tilt the chin . . . softly and unexpectedly. Like the gentle pat on my shoulder. A warm smile directed my way. The day a cardinal flew into my yard splashing scarlet wings against a graying sky. Or when I walked into a room to see Lianna, my granddaughter, completely enthralled with the view from the window.
There are so many other little things. My steaming hot mug of coffee in the morning. The Canada geese that visit our pond. Warm socks. A squeeze of the hand. Sharing a thumbs-up with a stranger at the store when masks hide our smiles. New pajamas. Homemade soup. Movie night with the Marco and Lucas. My daughter’s generous heart. My sacred indoor space—a worn chair, soft lamp, and a good book. Gardens at rest. Evergreen trees. My Japanese red maple. And my sacred outdoor space under my tree whose outstretched arms make a cozy leafy canopy. I like to sit under its protective roof even in a gentle rain: a perfect outdoor oasis. And December gave me a bonus: this beautiful tree still held its lush red leaves.
Until the storm hit.
A nor’easter arrived and flashed through my neighborhood. It rattled the doors and windows and sent trash cans rolling down the street. When it finally relented, I looked outside and saw that my beautiful red maple was bare.
Unprepared for Loss
I was unprepared for the sudden stripping of my tree and equally unprepared for my reaction. The wind that tore at my tree also robbed something from me. The empty tree mirrored my own isolation. It took away all my pretenses for coping with the COVID crisis. The loss erased any sense of proportion. Laid bare was the grief and sorrow that I had kept tamped down. Maybe it hurt too much to acknowledge the unfathomable pain felt by those who lost loves ones and those about to lose their homes. But now, I felt as naked as my tree. Sadness settled in and I wore it like a heavy overcoat, depressing my energy, depressing joy. I remained indoors. Head down. No walks.
Unprepared for Joy
I knew I needed to snap out of my downward spiral, so after two days of sagging energy, I decided I needed nature’s healing touch. So I donned a warm coat, scarf, and gloves for a brisk walk out in the frosty December air. I opened my door and was totally unprepared for what I saw.
There before my eyes was a beautiful carpet of red. Like the thousands of lost souls, my leaves seem to say, “I’m still here, only differently.” It was one of those “little things that mean a lot”. Nature literally rolled out her red carpet for me and my mind leapt to a higher energy. I know it may sound insignificant, even silly, but this little thing brought me back from despair. I wasn’t prepared for this joy, but I felt the impulse to be faithful to it.
If you are faithful in the little things . . .
. . . . .you will be faithful in the large ones.
Advent: Preparing for Joy, a Higher Mind Energy
I began to think of mind energy as another way to think of joy. And my mind energy kept returning to Lianna, looking out the window. Soon after I took that photo, she turned around and looked at me as if to say, why aren’t you looking too? So enlightening. So fitting. From a small child I am reminded to be faithful to the little things. Her vigilance showed me there is no space between faith and expectation. I think of her as my Star of Bethlehem, shining the way.
Our Star of Bethlehem
This year with so much unsurety about large family gatherings, it might be easy to feel lost and alone. We will celebrate the birth of Christ, but differently. But stars do shine bright for us if we remember to give mindful energy to the small and little things. In our deepest silence, where it all makes sense, a mighty star shines. If my starshine dims even a bit, I have faith that somehow, a small hand or a charming little gesture will guide me forward, if, like Lianna, I keep looking.
The Christmas Star
On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close in Earth’s night sky it will be our Christmas Star. This has not happened in 800 years. The journey begins . . .