“Blow me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I’m not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot.”
This popular song was written by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz, was published in1953, and Billboard ranked it as the #1 song of 1954.
I really know nothing of Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz, or why they wrote this song, but I can’t help wondering what difficulties they may have weathered or losses they may have suffered. For, it seems that somewhere along life’s journey, they may have learned something about what is really important.
Take a look at some of the lyrics:
“Don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls
Champagne, sable and such…
Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way
Give me your shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray give me your heart to rely on…
Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven’t forgot…
Little things mean a lot.”
During this past year—this very unusual year, I have learned to appreciate the little things more than ever. In the beginning, self-quarantining wasn’t a big problem for me. I was used to being alone, and I certainly had plenty to do to keep me busy. Of course, I had always had an option—just jump in the car on a whim and go—to the mall, the grocery store, or lunch.
Then all of a sudden everything changed. Being home alone wasn’t fun anymore, and I was tired of eating my own cooking seven days a week.
Early one Saturday evening, I decided to venture out. So, off to Taco Bell I went. Of course, the restaurant itself wasn’t open but drive through was doing a booming business.
I ordered a “Nachos Bell Grande” with lots of hot sauce. When I glided up to the first window, a lanky teen ager greeted me with a big smile, and agreed to give me the senior’s discount. You have to ask for it at Taco Bell.
“Don’t forget the hot sauce,” I reminded him.
This became my Saturday night ritual. All week I look forward to it. Nachos are my treat for the week, and my escape from the house. But the best part is, that teen age boy who takes my order and my money. It wasn’t long before he began to recognize my voice.
“Yes, I know,” he said with a laugh. “You want lots of hot sauce and a senior’s discount.”
He’s always very warm and friendly. Actually, I miss him when he is not there.
LITTLE THINGS! A telephone call from Germany, or my girlfriend on the east coast, a gift of wonderful grapefruit fresh from the tree, a friend coming to set up my newly purchased puppy playpen, beautiful tulips from the people who deliver my groceries. LITTLE THINGS! These are the things that have kept me going.
I don’t need a Prime Rib dinner at Texas Road House. A sweet young man at Taco Bell fits the bill. When I’m lonely and alone, I just need someone who cares, and I believe we all feel that way.
Honestly, being in the ministry for so many years, I was sort of used to people doing nice things for me. Of course I liked it. Who wouldn’t? However, during this year of disease, distress, and destruction, I have had to recalibrate my thinking to some degree. I watched while neighbors, friends and total strangers have sacrificed to provide for those in need. They have not only given stuff, but have given of their time and energy. They have given themselves! At the age of eighty-five, I am determined to give myself. That may not be much, but it’s the little things, the caring that matters.
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus tells of an offering He observed. He saw rich people giving much. Then a poor widow came and threw in two small coins—two cents. Jesus told His disciples, “…this poor woman gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”
In 1 Corinthians 12:28, the Apostle Paul speaks of some of the gifts God has put in the Church. Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, workers of Miracles…and He places the gift of “Helps” right in the middle of the other great gifts. We sometimes have the idea that, if we can’t be something great, we can’t be anything at all. Fact is most of us will never be Prophets, Teachers, or Apostles, but we can all be helpers.
Virginia, she is in glory now, was a missionary with me in Belgium. She was the poster child for the “gift of helps.” She was always there to do the menial things that no one else had time to do. She thought she was not of much use, and sometimes longed for a more elevated position. Only in heaven will she understand what an essential place she played in her service to God and others. Her little things were indispensible.
You may never be a person of renown, but you can be a Helper. In the end, with your “Little things” you will have given more than all the greats.
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!