The Little Things
My grandma and I share a love for flowers. She lives over 400 miles away so hand-picked flowers is hard to do, but a photo of a new bloom sent via text always brightens her day.
On a recent phone call with my grandmother we were talking about the flowers in my yard and I mentioned, "It's the little things..."
She said, "Oh hunny, you learn the little things are the BIG things!"
And it has always stayed with me.
Even little things like receiving a letter in the mail. It's just a piece of paper folded into an envelope. But, reading it again now, I see my grandma was right. The little things - like this letter - are indeed, the BIG things worth holding onto.
Writing letters is becoming a dying art form. It's not intentional but we're busy. An email or text is more efficient and who even has stamps anymore?
Maybe that's why it makes receiving a letter so meaningful. Someone took the time to 1. get paper or a card, 2. think about what they wanted to say, 3. write it down, and 4. give it to you by hand or mail.
With all the distractions we face in our days, it takes dedication to get all four steps completed.
In a world filled with emails and phone calls and texts and DM's and tweets, a plain piece of paper holds newfound intimacy.
One man, who I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to know and love, saw the purpose in these little things and grabbed a plain piece of paper.
He didn't have to do these things. He wasn't my grandpa by blood. I only shared one Easter and one Christmas with him, but he claimed me as his own and I gladly claimed him, too.
He was the quiet type. The well-dressed type. Not fancy but always had his pressed shirt tucked in with a belt. He'd often wear a clean golf cap, which always made me smile realizing we shared a similar choice in hats. Laugh lines graced his face as he enjoyed taking in the moment more than driving the moment.
We shared soft smiles, sweet laughter and, even at one time, unexpected tears. But more than this, we shared letters. His letters were sometimes handwritten, sometimes not. But, they were always heart-written, addressed to "Dearest Candace," whether for my birthday or to share other things on his heart. He always signed it as he did for his other grandchildren as if I was part of his family.
In a way, I was. We shared the same faith and, therefore, Father.
A moment with him - in person or through a letter - and you were reminded of what was really important in life - faith, family, and the simple joys of a well-cared-for lawn and cherishing a photo of a loved one.
Indeed, the little things were the BIG things for him.
He lived a quiet life, finding joy in lunch with friends at the senior center and walking two miles a day for exercise. He found comfort in a photo kept in his wallet so his love was always within reach. His best friend was no longer here with him but she remained ever close to him.
She was his greatest pride and joy, often pulling out the photo to show another her beautiful smile. Even then, years later, his face beamed with the radiance of a young groom watching his bride walk down the aisle.
A love like that can only come from above.
He shared this love freely with those around him and led his family to know the love of the Father. For him, prayers weren't just for meals, but for coming together, hand in hand, before the end of every family gathering.
He's not here now but his legacy lives on and his letters I will always treasure. He's rejoined with the love of his life and there's no place he'd rather be.
The written word is powerful.
So much so, death itself cannot quench.
Hold that thought. We'll be coming back to this soon.
Maybe you have someone like that in your life.
Maybe it's someone you've known your whole life or someone with which you shared a couple holidays and a few postage stamps.
Regardless of the time, it's someone who makes you pause in the middle of your busy life, and brings clarity to the question, "What is the meaning of life?"
Why are we here? What is worthy of our pursuits?
It seemed he had found peace by intentionally practicing Solomon's teaching,
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to the one who pleases God. - Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
Apart from God, who can have enjoyment?
In order for us to find enjoyment and experience this love given to us, we must grow closer to its source. Similar to how sharing letters allowed me to grow closer to Grandpa before he passed, we are formed in wisdom, knowledge and joy as we draw near to God and He draws near to us.
Shaped by His love, we are able to see enjoyment - even in the toil and the ordinary moments of our days - come from His hand alone.
Let's find strength in this toil of our days as we recognize our joy is fulfilled only from the hand of God. There, practicing the contentment He offers, we are washed with peace and able to rest in the gifts of wisdom and knowledge and joy as we lead a life worthy of our calling.
One final thought for today in celebration of Father's day this past weekend - The God of all wisdom is our Father. Let's remember whose we are and lean not on our own understanding but trust in His wisdom. This is His will for us, and this is where we find meaning for our days.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
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