Little Gifts

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I just finished Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted yesterday. I had read 7 (also Jen Hatmaker) at the beginning of the summer and loved it. God gave her and her husband a very clear passion and vision to serve the homeless, poor, and marginalized in South Austin, Texas. In her book she talks about the overwhelming statistics of those who are poor and in need around the country and around the world. These statistics and facts can be really overwhelming. I always read them and feel like “Where do I even start?”. Then I have an idea, like making mittens for kids or saving change to give to local ministries, and it feels so small and insignificant when compared to the problem. I feel like I am offering a plastic dollar store sword to a soldier about to face an army of 10,000 tanks and a million soldiers all armed with rocket launchers. So I am left feeling like “should I bother?” (I know the answer is yes, it just feels a little ridiculous).

So that brings us today. A friend of mine was having a garage sale. There were no prices on anything, it was come, take whatever you want and leave whatever amount you want. All the donations were going to a place called Mully Children’s Family (they rescue and adopt orphans off the the streets in Kenya). I went to take some of my stuff and to take some money from our Christmas Jar (we stash cash in this jar and then use it to serve others… something we started with the kids… another post for another time). I sat with my son and counted out $9.36, all the money we had saved. I sent my kids to get ready and I thought about what a small amount $9.36 was. It feels so insignificant, so small, especially when it was stacked up against the needs. As I got my things together I was reminded of the widow in the Bible and Jesus telling the disciples to look at her two mites she gave and how important that was to God, how much that sacrifice meant. I also thought about the boy who offered 5 loaves and 2 fish. The amount of people to feed was well over 5,000. His offering must have felt small and insignificant, much like our $9.36. God reminded me that He uses the little gifts, in His hands it becomes so much more than we could imagine. Thousands were fed that day. I don’t really know what happened to the mites but God used her example to teach the disciples something incredibly important.

It was the perfect reminder for me. I have opportunities to do little things, to give little gifts. If I shy away from them believing that they are too small and they won’t do much in the face of the problem, I will miss out on the opportunity for God to do so much more than I can imagine with them.

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