Thursday, June 15, 2017
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu
There is now a space where there once was a tooth (for over seventy years) as the bad tenant has been evicted. Healing has begun although pain seems to overstaying his welcome—and no one remembers inviting him. I can’t thank enough that young volunteer dentist from Malaysia. He had to struggle (he said it would be difficult), but he succeeded, the bleeding finally stopped, and I am back at home with ice cream in my bowl (they always seem to promise you ice cream, but you never really feel like eating it). That kind young man volunteered his personal cell phone number and said to call him at home day or night if there were changes or if I had questions. Such a small thing to do but so very, very kind and oh so rare in today’s world. One person being kind to another never gets old and always touches my heart. It just doesn’t take much, and it is so easy for us to forget this, especially in the hustle and bustle of life in the first world (that’s most of you guys). I doubt that I will call that dentist or even ever see him again, but that one thoughtful thing will keep him in my heart forever.
Last week, I discovered 10,000 shillings in my pocket (about $4.00 in America). I know that Rachel is a widow with a nine and ten-year-old at home, so without much thinking about it, I gave her the money to buy fish for their dinner. You’d have thought I had bought her a new car, she was so excited. The next morning, she was just bursting to tell me how happy her sons were to have had Tilapia to eat for dinner. That amount bought two, good-sized fish that were swimming just that morning and fed her boys, her, and her father. (Karen and John also love Tilapia which is available fresh here every day out of Lake Victoria—no farmed fish here.) Rachel was all smiles all day long. I should have felt very good as she was so happy, but it brought home to me how little it takes to make others feel like absolute royalty for a day. What kind of fast food can you buy in the U.S. for $4.00? Will that even buy a Big Mac at McDonald’s? Here, it fed a family of four with delicious protein that is sadly lacking from most diets. We do so very little here, but it means so much to those who receive it. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do—wishing I could do so much more. Dr. Chris came by a few days ago and in casual conversation asked if we knew how beloved we were here in Bunda. We didn’t, of course, and he went on to tell us about the numbers of local folks who feel so blessed by our living here. We are always feeling so inadequate in what we are able to do, feeling beloved by those who live around us just hit us as a quite a surprise. I guess if there is a message to this blog (I think there is a message in every one, I’m just not always sure what it is), it is that we need to stop thinking that doing just a little is like doing nothing. Doing just a little can be huge, it can change lives, it can alter the face of Christianity in your area, and it can rather cement your role as a good and faithful servant. It’s not about how much you give or do, it’s that you do give and do whatever you can whenever you can and the love with which it is given and done. Facebook is full of short videos of what small acts of kindness can do, and I just have to watch each and every one (and cry sometimes). Christ told us to love others as He loved us, so how can we not buy a couple of fish when that’s what is needed? Seems like I remember that Jesus did an awful lot with just two fish one day. Every day, God finds a way to remind me that I am important no matter how insignificant I may feel because I so frequently forget. You, too, are vitally important to God and His work—don’t ignore the chances He sends you to do a little good every day. A small pebble can make ripples that cross an entire lake.