The Little Things Matter

Tom Ehrich on February 1, 2016 wrote this:
“Seeing God in the everyday is the heart of faith. Not grand spectacles, not powerful worship experiences, not great sermons or epic acts of giving — though those do matter. Faith sees the small touch, the steadfast caring, the quiet reach of true generosity.”

That’s good to hear, especially when the clock ticks to next Sunday, 3:30 p.m. California, the kick-off of Super Bowl 50. That’s good to hear when your favorite team takes the field…or the court…or the rink. Sometimes, and I’m probably guiltier than anyone to overstate the importance of the big events.

That’s good to hear, no matter what happens today in Iowa when votes are counted and caucuses total up their results.

I’m not saying, though, the big doesn’t matter, the worship that crescendos the spirit lacks value.

But Ehrich is right and he hits home with me on this: It’s the little things…not trivia but little things. It’s my granddaughter calling me on my cell phone [yes, I will get the I-phone] to ask how I am. No agenda, just a hello and a “How are you, Grandpa Mark?” THAT is so much more than a social amenity; THAT’S a spiritual necessary.

It’s the little things, a former high school classmate [Class of ’58, Jefferson High School] writing to say the blog counted in her swirling life, or the fishing buddy, whom I see maybe once a year—or two—showing gratitude how to care for a friend whose high school daughter was killed in a car accident and I happened to recall the sermon that spoke to me and always will when the untoward is on the throne and the love needed is on the scaffold. [Sorry, but that image from Bill Coffin always speaks to me].

It’s remembering perhaps the smallest moment in my very modest [and that’s not stated incorrectly] high school basketball career when I happened to make a pass. Never thought of it, but my coach, John Neeley blew the whistle and asked how I had made that pass. Hey, it was practice for goodness sake. And I couldn’t answer him. That didn’t matter. Why? Because for John Neeley, it was so valued. The little moment, the little thing. Coach Neeley clapped and offered, “Good job.” The little thing. I remembered that last when I received a Portland obituary that Coach Neeley died at the age of 88. I then read an article about him and realized he had stopped practice for lots of players to recognize something good. Oh boy, the little things.

Make a difference. Maybe it’s stopping a cement truck—this morning walking Faith and Caleb, looking up to a giant cab and asking the driver to lower his window. He did. I thanked him for bringing cement for a new house’s foundation and said his work mattered…which it does. I then tapped my nose, “See? My nose doesn’t grow.”

The little things…thanks, Tom Ehrich, for the gift of your writing. And to me, this very paragraph quoted is of great value…yes, great value.

How about for each of you? Think of those who have given you, not the world, but in a blink of time, recognized you and the value you bring to them and those around you. Hopefully your list of names is beyond count…but not beyond memory.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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