Saturday, October 25, 2014
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” ― Andy Warhol
Several years ago, one of our best pastors (now a bishop) asked me if I would help pay the school fees for a boy in his church. He was an orphan, but he was very bright and a devout Christian at his young age. Since his parents had died (both from malaria) he had not been able to go to school even though he was very smart and had done well. He was spending his days helping fishermen as he lived on the shores of Lake Victoria. I agreed to help little Zakaius, and over the years, paid for his government school fees every term (about $30.00 a term) by sending the money through Pastor Festo. Occasionally, I would also pay about $8.00 for his school uniforms which he needed almost every other year as he grew rapidly. Some of our visitors from the U.S. met him and gave me a couple of hundred dollars to help him as they really liked him. I used that money to buy him new clothes and a bicycle, yet I never saw him in them or on the bicycle, just got word through the pastor that he was very thankful and very happy. I didn’t think much about it because just twice a year the pastor would come and pick up the money. I was also paying for the pastor’s two boy’s school fees as well, so I hardly noticed the little extra for Zakaius. Naturally, as the years passed the boy grew in stature, learning, and wisdom, as well as spiritually. He graduated from high school and wanted to go to a Bible college. It was also fairly cheap, just about $200 per term, so I paid for that as well, also without seeing him. Last week, after all these years, he came by to see me to thank me for all I had done for him, and, frankly, I didn’t even remember doing it among all the other school fees for others I’ve been paying. I also didn’t remember him, but he had never forgotten me. He is now a fine young man and has become a lay pastor in a Methodist church in a village about fifty miles from here. He will be ordained as a full pastor in two years and was so very, very grateful that I was embarrassed and at a loss for words. With tears in his eyes, he thanked me for being the angel God had sent him to fulfill his destiny as a Christian minister. I was truly humbled by how important my little gifts had been to Zakaius as well as those of others. What seemed like such a little thing to me had been the best thing to ever happen to him. How often, it is the little things we do that have the greatest impact on others. It was so little for me to do for a boy I had only met once many years ago, but he saw me as a patron saint like a character in a Dickens’ novel who helps the orphan boy become a truly good person and achieve a high station in life. Please don’t stop doing the “little things” that really never are truly that. You never know how huge your little thing can be to someone else. Random acts of kindness change the world even if most of the time we never get to know how they turned out. I was blessed by his short visit, and it lifted my soul. In total,I spent less on him than most Americans spend on coffee at fancy shops in a single month, but oh what a difference it made in his life. Do just a little good every now and then and God will smile and send you thank you notes. It is so worth the effort, even when there is almost no effort involved.