Little by Little

1 10 2012

“Little by little, one travels far.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m not sure why that quote came to mind as I contemplated today’s post, but I think perhaps it was because we all need hope. We all need inspiration to take the next step. Faith to believe that love makes a difference — that every kind word, every cool cup of water, every gentle touch on the shoulder or whispered prayer matters.

When we let God open our eyes and our hearts, the world’s suffering can be a crushing weight, and any attempt we might make to alleviate it appears feeble and ineffectual. The temptation is to shut our eyes again. Shut our hearts and turn away. Spend our energies on lesser things, filling our lives with noise and busyness and destined-to-perish “productivity” — anything to dull the pain compassion demands.

But God never asked us to carry the weight of the world’s suffering. Jesus did that on the cross. God asks rather that we become one small member of His body, enter His battles, take our marching orders from Him, and be transformed into what He created us to be. Choice by choice. Obedience by obedience. Little by little.

And the amazing truth? When we lay down our selfish ambitions and agendas, Jesus gives us better gifts than we ever imagined. They may not look glamorous to the world, and they may not earn us lots of money or fame, but they usher the peace and presence of God into dark places and into our own souls, and we discover who we are and why we were created. The more we enter fully into His purposes, the more we glorify Him, and the more we learn what it means to enjoy Him forever.

No one can do it all. No one was meant to. But we can do our little bit. We can take this daily bread, give thanks, and then break it and share it, each according to his own faith and abilities.

We can do what we love to undo what we hate.

Please watch this brief but deeply moving documentary filmed by Eric Becker last spring in the Philippines. It’s well worth seven and a half minutes of your time. May the beautiful souls you’ll meet in this film compel you to worship and to intercede, thanking God for the intersection of deep need and glorious grace.

Do What You Love to End What You Hate from Arts Aftercare on Vimeo.

The glorious truth is that God will raise up those members of His body intended to join in this beautiful work, and He will raise up others for other forms and avenues of ministry. Again, no one can do it all, and no one was meant to. But if you watched this video and the Lord whispered this is for you, here are some ways you can help:

  • Use your influence. Share the video with others on facebook or twitter or your blog to help spread the word about this important and beautiful ministry.
  • Pray for Arts Aftercare as they work to bring beauty and healing through the arts to survivors of human trafficking and other forms of extreme trauma. They faithfully and tirelessly give their “little,” but they need our help to “travel far.”
  • If you’re an artist of any kind, please consider contacting them for more information about ways you, too, can do what you love to undo what you hate.
  • Donate to the ministry. $120 pays for one complete Healing Arts Toolkit, but any donation of any amount is greatly appreciated and goes directly toward the work. Arts Aftercare is a registered non-profit, and all donations are tax deductible.

Whatever God leads you to do, thank you for your obedience to Him. If we each do our little bit, then together, little by little, we will travel farther than any of us ever dreamed possible.

* * *

Giving thanks in community for (#602 – 623)

sacramental souls
redemption
home group
new mercies every morning
fresh basil snipped from the garden
soup weather
gentle rain on the sun-room roof
moment-by-moment grace for the ache
every prayer answered God’s way
God’s nearness
Malia turning head down and
the joy of anticipating new life, due so soon!
comrades in arms
Luke’s generous attitude and willing heart
the joy of watching adult children walk in truth
George’s earnest pursuit of godliness
my father’s example of selfless, patient love
babysitting Naomi
skyping with Grace and Harper
morning worship with Jacob
every good and perfect gift — even the hard ones


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3 responses

2 10 2012
richelle @ "our wright"-ing pad

Jeanne,

I’m touched and convicted by your words every time I visit. I’m actually popping over from Ann’s today, but frequently stalk by at other times, too.

“We can do what we love to undo what we hate.” – God has gifted you to be able to express powerfully and poignantly words like these. Thanks for this challenge today. I wish I could have watched the video (our internet is too slow); sounds like an amazing ministry.

Blessings!

2 10 2012
chris

hi Jeanne,

hope you and yours have been much blessed while i’ve been away: whenever i get submerged in work, i always miss your blog!

i really enjoyed the video, and i very much agree about the importance of doing the little things. As you say, we have trouble grasping “that every kind word, every cool cup of water, every gentle touch on the shoulder or whispered prayer matters”. in a way this is strange. for i know so well from my own experience that if in the midst of a hard day, spent grappling with a big problem, i get an indifferent word rather than a kind one, or no cool water or comforting cup of coffee, not having the kind word or the coffee makes such a difference to me. so i shouldn’t have trouble getting my head around idea that it’s that way for others as well. but i guess it’s about “heart knowledge” rather than “head knowledge”, and the way that without grace our hearts are of stone, and not of flesh…& i guess the thing to do is to try and replace a vicious circle with a virtuous one. if we open ourselves to God and His grace, He’ll give us the heart to spend ourselves in love for others; and if we spend ourselves in love for others, we will thereby draw nearer to God and His grace…

have a wonderful week–

chris

25 10 2012
denadyer70

I’m so thankful for those “better gifts”–and for you. I had never heard of this organization. I’m grateful to you for mentioning it! 🙂 Blessings to you today.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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