One Small Act
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
One of the great Scottish poets of last century was William Soutar. His life was a tragic one. He died in 1943 aged only forty-five. For twenty-five years he suffered a debilitating illness, and for the last ten years of his life he was completely helpless. Yet he had this great gift of writing and in spite of his own tragedy he was a man of wit and a storyteller of some note. This is one of his stories that tells of the importance and effect of little things.
There was once a wood cutter's wife who forgot to put salt in her husband's morning porridge. When he angrily complained, she told him that he was a fool to make such a fuss about so trifling a matter. This infuriated the wood cutter, and commencing work in the forest he lashed out at a tree with such force and venom that the axe head flew off. It injured his employer's favourite horse that was being led to the blacksmith's shop. That horse was to have taken his employer, a nobleman and an important man in the district, to a meeting of Lords that was to discuss their differences with the King. Because of his anger and foul mood due to the need to arrange for another horse, he successfully argued for an uprising against the King.
In the rebellion that followed many were killed, and there followed a period of poverty, famine and unrest. This rebellion, loss of life and suffering happened because a wood cutter's wife forgot to salt her husband's porridge.
The point of this story is to relate how little things can have a widespread effect. Rather like throwing a stone into a pond and seeing the ripples spread out and reach the shore. If we are young, middle aged or even retired we may feel that there is little we can do, or want to do, that will greatly affect others. This is untrue. Every action, every good deed, every performed service, every outreach, has an effect on someone, somewhere. We are Godâ€™s hands and feet - have you used yours today?
â€œA Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God which prompts him to do these thingsâ€