This week, I had the privilege of visiting with a dear friend and mama to seven beautiful children and meeting her newest baby, Judah. I only brought Joseph with me for the visit, knowing that the family had only recently moved into their new rental house and that they don’t have as much room as they used to to play outside. So, Abbey safely and happily at preschool, Joseph and I drove the 52 minutes to Sanford, ME with our bag full of hand-me-down boy clothes, and I got to see my friend and her lovely kids.
And I got to hold that sweet little newborn baby.
As I spoke to him, and held his little body in my hands, my friend snapped some pictures of us together, and I thought:
How sweet – that she thinks of me fondly enough to want to document Judah and me meeting each other for the first time . ..
She gave me a beautiful gift just by letting me hold and love on her little newborn boy, but taking pictures of us interacting was an extra gift of love. I felt so special.
After Judah took in my face and voice, he nuzzled at my chest, smelling my breastmilk, and I let him know that though “yes, I smell like mama’s milk”
. . . that I was not his mama and I was going to hand him back.
Holding and Healing
As I thanked her for letting me hold her little son, I reminded her of a time that she had allowed an elderly lady to hold one of her other children, her only girl.
The family was at church, and the old woman had asked if she could hold my friend’s newborn girl.
The old lady held her for a portion of the service, and then handed her back to her mother. When she handed her back, the old woman as crying.
My friend asked her if she was OK, and the old lady told her
“I recently lost a grand baby – I never got to hold that grand baby that we lost, and so it was so wonderful to hold your darling little girl. Thank you for allowing me to hold her.”
Small Gifts of Service
Melly healed something in that lady that day. She gave her a gift, and it helped the old lady endure the pain of losing a loved one. It’s a great example of our opportunity to give great gifts of service through small actions and words. It reminds me of:
- the importance of listening to God’s call to service and
- having an open heart and mind and of the significance of the littlest things in life.
Melly could have said “no” when the woman asked to hold her daughter. She could have been fearful that the baby would get sick from a stranger touching her. There are numerous reasons why someone would have said “no” in her situation. But she gave a gift to that woman by allowing her to hold her baby – and though it seems like such a small thing. . . it was very powerful.
The Little Things
Often in this busy world, we forget how powerful the little things are.
I could have declined to come visit Melly and her family this week because the drive was longer for me than I normally find “feasible”.
I could have postponed the visit because I had something else to do.
I could have left early instead of sitting with her and visiting until Judah woke up from his nap.
But instead, I stayed. And though holding Judah seems like a small thing, it reminded me of how wondrous our God is – how beautiful every little child – every person they grow into, including you and me – and every thing that we do . . . is important. I’m so glad I drove to visit her. I’m so glad I sat with her and listened to her thoughts and how things are going. I’m so glad I stayed to enjoy holding baby Judah.
So let’s not forget the impact of the little things in life.
Other Little Things
Brene’ Brown is thinking about the little things today as well. She is one of my favorite bloggers: a Ph.D., LMSW and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, she has “spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame” and writes beautiful and uplifting posts on her Ordinary Courage blog.
Today, she writes about her annual tradition of buying a box of “the most delicious petit fours that you’ll ever taste” and delivering them to a local fire station on 9-11 with a simple message attached
We appreciate you!
What a lovely sentiment. Such a small thing . . . but I’m sure to the firefighters who receive the gift, it’s a boost to their day, and makes them feel special and loved.
It’s an important gesture – just like Melly’s allowance of the lady at her church to hold her child – or her loving picture-snapping today while I held her newest squishy-cheeked little addition.
The small things should not be overlooked. Because like Brene’ Brown writes in her post about the little things,
“In this big, loud, anxious world, the small things matter so much.”