Ever since James was born and the generosity started pouring in I've been thinking of this girl I went to school with. I'll call her Meg. In sixth grade, for whatever reason, she was the girl everyone decided to not like. I'm sure she could tell all kinds of horrible stories about how she was treated for the next six years, but I wouldn't want to hear them. I remember standing by a lot, not stepping in.
In high school we had a few classes together, and because it was a smaller school I'd see her in the halls and such. I'd chat to her before the bell rang, say hi in the hallways, ask her about her weekend. It wasn't very much. But when voting happened for all four Homecomings and both Proms she would pull me aside, look me dead in the eye, and tell me she nominated me for court. One year I was the only one she nominated.
I realize this is sounding like a bad, warm-fuzzy, forwarded email that ends with asking you to pass it on to ten people. Stick with me.
I've thought about Meg in the ten years since we graduated. I would always think about how I barely did anything and it meant so much to her. I can talk to anyone, and especially in high school when I was much more outgoing, it wasn't stepping out of my box to talk to the people others ignored. Plus, I had no reputation to uphold, I mostly floated in the happy middle of liked but without all the pressure. Nothing was at stake for me to sit by her in class and talk about how cute Prince William was.
So I could have done so much more. I could have asked her to hang out some weekend. I could have invited her to sit with us at lunch. I could have invited her to Bible study. I could have shared the Gospel with her. I realize that I wasn't really mature or thoughtful enough to have thought of those things then, at least not the way I do now, so I don't beat myself up about what I didn't do.
But I have tried to live my life mindful of her. Every once in awhile I wonder if Meg would still find me worthy of being nominated to Homecoming court.
And now, now I think I know how she felt. Some one brings my family a meal. Someone slips us a $50, or mails us a gas card. For some of these people it's not that big of a deal, it's just what they do, a normal reaction. But to me, to me it is huge. And then, when people with tight budgets give to us we get a glimpse of how God must have felt receiving the widow's two small coins in the Temple. How beautiful! What love! And then, 5 weeks later, to still have families praying for my son! People pleading on my behalf... I hope some day you, too, will experience what it is to be loved like this. It makes us feel so small, but in such a lovely, tender way.
So maybe it's okay that I didn't do more for Meg. Maybe what I did, as little as it seemed to be, was huge. I hope so. I hope I was able to do for someone what is being done to us. What a gift! I never knew it before, but it really, truly is a gift.
We are all related, children of the King. We may not have much, but what we have we bring.
-JJ Heller, "Little Things"