The year was 1954. The U.S. Billboard Chart ranked “Little Things Mean a Lot” by Kitty Kallen the #1 song of the year! Laced with simple lyrics about little niceties and endearing smiles, this tune captured the essence of how significant the smallest of gestures can be to the person on the receiving end.
In today’s society however, we are hard-pressed to find people who value simplicity. We have become over-indulgent, materialistic, and self-gratifying. We long to flaunt our success and look impressive, having the finery and luxury that will cause others to envy. We are hurried and at times even frantic people, often going nowhere fast! Sadly, it is not “the little
things” that we value!
The story of the widow
I am reminded of the story Jesus told about a certain widow. The story is found in Mark 12:43–44 and again in Luke 21:1-4. It seems there was an occasion while Jesus was sitting with His disciples near the temple treasury, that they were watching people deposit their money into the offering receptacles. Jesus observed those who were rich contributed large sums of money; then along came a widow with just two small coins in her hand. The KJV refers to the coins as “mites” or the smallest denomination of the coins. The widow put the coins into the box, and Jesus noticed that all the more! He wanted to acknowledge her gift. So, He called His disciples over to Him and pointed out her action by saying, “Truly I
tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. The others gave out of their wealth or abundance. But she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”
It was her gift that Jesus considered worthy of making mention of! He saw her humble gift, given from a heart filled with love and gratitude. You see, God’s evaluation is different from man’s! While the widow’s two mites only added up to a penny by man’s value and tabulation, Jesus said she had given more than anyone else had!
God’s unique perspective
Perhaps you are struggling with feelings of lack as we approach this holiday season. Maybe you feel as if you have little or nothing to share or contribute. Perhaps you are unable to offer material gifts of any size! May I remind you of God’s unique perspective! His valuation of your simple act of kindness: a word gently spoken, the smile that brightens someone else’s day, or a note or card expressing a thoughtful sentiment is that it is worth more than you can imagine! It is indeed, priceless! He notices!
The well-known Catholic nun, Mother Teresa, devoted her entire life to serving and caring for those who were sick or less fortunate. When she passed away at the age of 87, she left behind some of the most stunning and memorable quotes of faith and love. Service to others was her passion and life’s ambition.
She said, “There are no great things, only small things done with great love. Happy are those who do them.”
She also said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Indeed, there is value in simplicity! I urge you this holiday season to give the gift of yourself to those around you! The impact will be remarkable, though not costly; priceless though not expensive!” Moreover, your selfless and simple gift from the heart will be noticed and acknowledged by the very God who gave Himself for YOU! (John 3:16)
The very story of Christmas is one of simplicity! The lowly birth of the Christ child, though He was the King of Kings, found His cradle in a trough; and His birthing suite, merely a stable. The grandeur of royalty was traded for the squalor of a peasant. Why? Because He recognized the value of simplicity and knew that the impact on the world would be far more
reaching than it would have been if He had been born in a palace! And He came to give His all, yes, His very life for us! (Read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20)
The very best gifts are certainly not those, Wrapped up in finery and tied up with bows. They are not the kind purchased with silver or gold, But those given in love from the depths of our soul! They are the ones we will favor the best, Cherished and remembered more than all the rest!
I think “Pretty Kitty Kallen”, as she was sometimes called, almost had it right; little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything!! And remember, as Jesus pointed out to His disciples at the temple that day, it was the widow who gave ALL she had! Her two mites were worth more than all the riches given by the wealthy who dropped their monies in the offering receptacles that day!
This blessed season, let’s keep it simple, and be of good cheer! Give of yourself in Christ-like love; and the Christ of Christmas will shine vividly and brightly for all to see, penetrating the darkness and filling it with His great light! Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
She Rises, and She Shines, AMEN!
Read also: God is after your heart