Doing The Little Things With Great Love

We can't all do great things. But when we do the little things with great love, we honor God. When we love others, we are actually loving Jesus.

Doing The Little Things With Great Love

June 27, 2021

Recently I agreed to help a friend with an assignment for his theological studies. The idea for his project came from the writings of a young French nun, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Known for her “little way” spirituality, Thérèse believed in doing the little, ordinary things in life with great love. My friend asked me to choose something I do on a daily basis and find a way to serve Jesus with it.

I decided to look at each person with whom I interact as being made in the image of God. This includes family members, friends, and strangers. At first I needed to constantly remind myself: this person is made in the image of God. But after a few days, I started to notice some changes in how I interacted with others. 

I began to make eye contact with everyone. This may sound like a small thing, but in a world where multitasking is the norm, maintaining eye contact with others had become a lost art. This one small thing made me more engaged and attentive in the everyday moments of life. 

As I better understood the challenges of the people around me, I gained greater compassion and patience. Little irritations didn’t affect me like they had before. I greeted strangers and smiled more. If a store clerk or waitress had a name tag, I called them by their name. I remembered to thank people for the simplest acts of kindness. 

In return, strangers opened up to me and began sharing parts of their stories. A man standing  behind me in the grocery line shared his frustrations over COVID-19. Seated next to me at the nail salon, a customer recounted her miraculous healing from a traumatic fall. Our waitress showed us a receipt where another customer had written to her with words of encouragement. 

Through this experience I’ve learned the way I see people determines how I treat them. And the way I treat people tells them how valuable they are to me. Most of all, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the truth Jesus taught in His Parable of the Sheep and the Goats:

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 NIV)

When the King commended the righteous for how well they treated him, they were perplexed. They didn’t remember taking care of the King in the ways he described. In the King’s response, he told them the simple truth. When they loved his people, they loved him.

When I love people, I’m actually loving Jesus.  

As I continue on this journey, I pray to continue to find little ways to love and honor the One who leads me. Wherever the road leads you next, I pray you can do the same.

 

 

Doing The Little Things With Great Love

June 27, 2021

We can't all do great things. But when we do the little things with great love, we honor God. When we love others, we are actually loving Jesus.

Recently I agreed to help a friend with an assignment for his theological studies. The idea for his project came from the writings of a young French nun, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Known for her “little way” spirituality, Thérèse believed in doing the little, ordinary things in life with great love. My friend asked me to choose something I do on a daily basis and find a way to serve Jesus with it.

I decided to look at each person with whom I interact as being made in the image of God. This includes family members, friends, and strangers. At first I needed to constantly remind myself: this person is made in the image of God. But after a few days, I started to notice some changes in how I interacted with others. 

I began to make eye contact with everyone. This may sound like a small thing, but in a world where multitasking is the norm, maintaining eye contact with others had become a lost art. This one small thing made me more engaged and attentive in the everyday moments of life. 

As I better understood the challenges of the people around me, I gained greater compassion and patience. Little irritations didn’t affect me like they had before. I greeted strangers and smiled more. If a store clerk or waitress had a name tag, I called them by their name. I remembered to thank people for the simplest acts of kindness. 

In return, strangers opened up to me and began sharing parts of their stories. A man standing  behind me in the grocery line shared his frustrations over COVID-19. Seated next to me at the nail salon, a customer recounted her miraculous healing from a traumatic fall. Our waitress showed us a receipt where another customer had written to her with words of encouragement. 

Through this experience I’ve learned the way I see people determines how I treat them. And the way I treat people tells them how valuable they are to me. Most of all, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the truth Jesus taught in His Parable of the Sheep and the Goats:

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 NIV)

When the King commended the righteous for how well they treated him, they were perplexed. They didn’t remember taking care of the King in the ways he described. In the King’s response, he told them the simple truth. When they loved his people, they loved him.

When I love people, I’m actually loving Jesus.  

As I continue on this journey, I pray to continue to find little ways to love and honor the One who leads me. Wherever the road leads you next, I pray you can do the same.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Sheila Daniel on June 29, 2021 at 5:15 AM

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder, Shirley!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on June 29, 2021 at 2:04 PM

      Thank you, Sheila. This experience has taught me even the smallest acts of faith have great impact. 💕

  2. AnnMarie Chapman on July 13, 2021 at 11:54 AM

    This practice is so needed in our world right now as so many people have been living in fear behind masks and being socially distanced for so long. Praise God we can make a difference in other’s lives through a smile, using their name and listening to their stories.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on July 15, 2021 at 10:14 AM

      Thank you Anne-Marie. This was such a good exercise for me. It really helped me see how much of a difference even small tweaks to our daily routines can make.

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