Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lent for Extroverts 32: The small stuff

Sometimes you have a day of small things. Not big, imposing, exciting, life changing things, but just small things.

First off some gifts. A friend brought a litre of Cawston Press apple juice with ginger and I had a glass at breakfast (cold) and a mug at supper (hot). It is perhaps just marginally more delicious hot than cold. It tastes as good as a National Trust gift shop. If you could distil that Olde-Worlde-spicy-pot-pourri-freshly-laundered-tea-towells-smell into a juice and bottle it, that's how it tastes.

Then the kittens brought me some dead leaves. I'm not such a huge fan, but this was a considerable upgrade from peeing on the curtains so I was more than chuffed.

Suzanne Vega famously blew into the stratosphere of cool with her 1987 song 'Small Blue Thing', just her and her guitar, being awesome. She was imagining what it was like to be small and very vulnerable. The lyrics are still haunting: 'Today I am a small blue thing/like a diamond or an eye/With my knees against my mouth I am perfectly round/I am watching you/I am cool against your skin/I am perfectly reflected/I am lost inside your pocket/I am lost inside your fingers/I am falling down the stairs/I am skipping on the side walk/I am thrown against the sky/I am raining down in pieces/I am scattering like light.'

So much easier in ministry to do big things, launch programmes and see conversions. I had been feeling mildly embarrassed throughout our Lent Course (subject: sharing your faith) that I hadn't had a conversation with anyone for a while where I had to  think on my feet about my faith (I was thinking with a 'stranger') and today I suddenly had one, completely out of the blue, with a shop owner. I don't normally wear the dog collar when I'm shopping outside the parish but I must have forgotten one day last week because today, as I went in to get the usual, he said 'Are you Church of England?' to which I said yes and 20 minutes later we had together lamented one of the hardest questions a believer ever has to face: why is there no peace in the world? 'If you find the answer, do tell me' he said.

'Who dares despise the day of small things?' asks the prophet Zechariah. The day of small gifts, of a small conversation about big things. The reason we do not despise the small things is that together they make up the important things. 

1 comment:

  1. So true, you never know how a small act of kindness will transform someone's day.