Today, taking a break from a pile of researched essays, I had another of those “what does this all mean?” moments. Since experience is worthless without context, here’s about ten cents worth of context.
My dog, the Wowpup, is healthier than many of the Mayan kids we saw last week. He has fewer parasites, for one thing. I spend about $70 a month making sure this is so. His water bowl is cleaner than theirs, too, and he gets a balanced diet of things that are good for dogs. I make sure this is so, too.
That’s really just the tip of the First World iceberg, a point that does not need hammering because we’ve all heard it. But now I have to figure out what it means. That’s why this post is entitled “All the Little Yesses.”
In his letter to the Corinthians, a bunch of professional whiners if there ever was one, Paul said this, “If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (I Cor. 13:3, The Message)
Today, I realize something: The size of the gift matters less than the heart of the giver. Sometimes we want to do “big” things, difficult things, things that make other people go “Wow.” But if we do those things just so people will be impressed with us, we haven’t made any difference in the world at all. I want to be a doer of small things with great love — cups of cold water for thirsty people, held in anonymous hands.
Yep. I want a heart as open as the sky, whether it beats in Pulaski or Guatemala or wherever. Love, Paul says, never dies. Everything else fades away, everything. But love goes on; it’s like the light of a candle that loses nothing when it lights another candle. One candle, theoretically, can light up the world. (Or, of course, burn it down.)
Love does not require special equipment, plane tickets, or advanced preparation. It can be practiced right at home by three-year-olds and octogenarians. Love notices the unnoticed. Love says “yes.” Love is not the Band-Aid on the world; it is the healing. Love sees the stupidity, the selfishness, the senselessness, and chooses to love anyway.
Only things done with love will last. If there is closure to be had, then this is it. Every day is a choice, to risk love, or not. To say yes in even the smallest things. Say yes.