In the work I do, I’ve learned the significance of the “why”.
A quiet, learned and soft-spoken gentleman spoke words almost ten years ago that I’ve used as my guide.
“Why should I care?”, the question potential donors are counting on my application and conversations to have an acceptable and compelling reply.
Yesterday, I began my day with my bare feet in the wet grass, the sunshine through moving clouds making pretty shadows on the green.
I welcomed the day with a big sweet dog that fours ago was an uncontrollable crazy question of why.
I returned home last night to a kitchen that wasn’t quite clean enough for me and a bed waiting to be made straight and ready for my rest.
(These are things I can control, small things of mine.)
In twelve hours of day there were interruptions, thoughtful and purposeful conversations and heaviness, heavy long and long drawn exchanges over loss by suicide and why.
I listened and did my best to lead, direct and redirect, knowing there’s no agenda here, there’s no real set of ground rules, no conversational etiquette, a support group for those bereaved by suicide.
There is only me, the timekeeper and host who sits sort of head of the table and gives space for the twelve or so separate unending respective and at times, remorseful whys.
So, I thought of small things before bed, still am just now.
Small things like a goofy rescue dog as crazy as I’ve ever known and all he now knows and has settled down for us and settled a whole lot of stuff for us.
Love him, love us.
I thought of the small mercies and grander mercies I’ve known.
I thought of my cousin’s timely call she’d considered an interruption and how I assured her, oh no!
How she prayed, prompted me to pray.
To pray giving thanks for small things in light of the others’ large, troubling and grievous things of others.
There’s a sweet, sweet song I love, the artist not so famous.
It has a happy little rhythm, a proclamation of sorts. Her voice, dancing lightly the lyrics of how the mountains before us will become plains.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
The prophet Zechariah spoke these words, recorded for me, for us to know that greater things are still to come.
Not necessarily grander in terms of perfection from our perspective.
But, certainly grander. Grander, in light of your why. Grander, not so much grandeur or achievement or acclaim.
A grander view of God.
Oh, the God of small things.
Like tennis balls, wet grass and interruptions we at first are aggravated over and then allow.
And are reminded why, the small things that enlighten us, remind us, compel us to pray,
Saying, thanks. Yes, God, thanks.
Today, I’ll put figures and outcomes and measures together and I’ll combine knowledge with true stories as a way to describe the difference made by a home, a temporary place to transition, to believe in the possibility of better.
Work, life, God and why.
I don’t despise the days of small things.
The mountains before me are becoming gradual plains. I see it more clearly now and understand why I’m so much more certain.
God is with me, can be trusted, can make my big bad things bring small and sometimes even greater good.
Father, our God, let us not despise the day of small things.
Because of mercy, Amen