A family friend died this week. Even though he was in his 80's, Carl's death came unexpectedly, tragically. He was cutting a tree alone in the woods. No one knows exactly what happened. Did the tree fall on him, hit him? All we know is that he is gone. I sat on his porch during the viewing to discourage possible burglars. It was a small thing, even a pleasant chore. The weather was perfect. A breeze blew through. The sun shone through the trees. My mother-in-law and I had a pleasant talk. It didn't seem like a sacrifice at all. But it was my little way of showing I care. His new widow gave me a hug, and it warmed my saddened heart.
The same day I watched the house, I took a meal to a young mother and her family. She had a new baby in her arms, another toddler freshly woken from a nap and a preschooler playing next door with the neighbor girls. This mom had dark circles under her eyes and wore the look of the frazzled. I felt so much empathy for her. It seems like years, it has been years, since my girls were 4, 2 and newborn, but the feeling of exhaustion I saw in her came back like it was just yesterday. After I left, I worried that I hadn’t given enough food. Before I left home, I had paired down the amount for a small family. But as I left I wished I packaged up it all so she had two meals out of what I’d given her.
There are days, in every mom’s life when she wonders if she will make it to the end of the day. There are seasons in life that are dark and may be incredibly long. I’m thankful for friends through the years who have supported me. I hope my one small meal and an afternoon on a neighbor's porch will add a little encouragement and light to their difficult days.
Sometimes God asks us to do things that seem small to us, maybe even insignificant. But I think He is pleased when we think beyond ourselves, no matter how big or small the gift.