Because the small things matter

There was a moment the world seemed to feel bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger, in that we seemed to be on our own, our great big country with its big ideas and advancements enjoying the American dream. Smaller, in that we didn’t have immediate access to the rest of the world.

Technology changed that. Reporters appear on screen live from Russia offering commentary on our recent election. Sporting events are telecast in real time from all parts of the world. Social media allows me to see instant posts from friends in Peru and Malawi. Our world has shrunk. At times it feels crowded and we wonder how anyone will notice the difference we hope to make.

Dawn on Marco Island

We were walking the beach at Marco Island. The sand stretches out far and is packed down as we walk with flip-flops protecting tender toes from the millions of shells. We spotted a dolphin slicing through the waters without a ripple. We saw a huge flock of terns ? performing flight maneuvers. And then we saw this large sprawling branch with shells hanging on it. We paused in our walk to take a closer look. A woman approached us and told us to take a marker and write something. There were other shells on the sand with holes in the top so we could hang them on a branch.

My sister-in-law was writing her word on the shell while I examined the others. An older couple came over to see what was going on. We’re just writing words to lift spirits, we told them.  We didn’t know why others wrote on the shells. Some were names of people others were  symbols like XO.

It was so simple; this tumbled piece broken from something larger fashioned to hold sun-washed shells with words that made us smile. A small thing that could bring about a moment of peace, a smile, prayer. A little thing meant to bring joy.

News reporters weren’t there to cover this. It’s not a video that will go viral. The woman didn’t have a banner for a cause and she wasn’t asking for donations. We didn’t have to sign up or leave an email address or zip code. She was doing a small thing in a few square feet of a vast beach. She wasn’t discouraged by her smallness. She did one small thing with great purpose.

It’s a simple story, but most of us live simple lives. And we can do simple things, with great purpose, to share the message of hope.

Is there a small thing that is bringing you great joy?

Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. 12 Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others. Romans 12:11-13 the Voice

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

6 thoughts on “Because the small things matter

  1. Annie Rim

    I love this. How often do we want recognition, even in our small acts? And how beautiful to focus on a small spot of beach, making it beautiful, leaving a mark. I’m thinking about ways I can do something tangible like this in my neighborhood….


    1. Debby Hudson

      I love these things Annie. The compelling desire that made someone take action – in public! Oh to be that bold. I’m sure you and the girls will come up with something. 🙂


  2. Linda Stoll

    Dear Friend … thanks for celebrating small things … they surely do stack up to be each day’s meaningful gifts! Shells on a beach. Yes, I could do that right about now …


    1. Debby Hudson

      I hope you’ll be stooping for shells soon. Though I guess it will be a few more months, or more. Until then, your words are celebration, Linda. Thank you for sharing them.


  3. Sarah Geringer

    I live far from the beach, but I love to visit. What a beautiful idea for the next time I’m on the coast!


    1. Debby Hudson

      Yes, just the right spark to brighten someones day, Sarah. Hope you make it to the beach soon!


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