Today I was thinking about Veteran’s Day, and all of the veterans that I know, and I was reminded of someone I knew briefly, almost 30 years ago. His name was Larry and he was married to the sister of a boy I dated for a short time in college. On Sundays, the whole family would get together for lunch – it was a large family with lots of in-laws and children running around, and the food was amazing. One day, I decided that I’d cook something to take – green bean casserole. As you can imagine, it was a disaster. I can still remember how humiliated I felt, and the argument I’d had with my boyfriend, how I didn’t want to go, and the red, swollen eyes from crying. I might have been a tad dramatic in my youth.
Anyway, we all sat down around the big table, and began to eat. I’ll never forget hearing Larry ask someone to please hand him seconds of my gross, runny, undercooked green bean casserole. He never looked at me, or made a big deal out of it, just continued to eat and socialize. I don’t know what enemy he’d faced, or how many battlefields he’d been on, but I doubt there had been much in his life scarier than eating my cooking.
I totally get the grand gesture, the BIG idea, the diving in with both feet. Big is moving the family to India to care for the motherless. Big is creating a program that feeds hundreds of families at Thanksgiving. Big is buying a house deliberately in the worst section of town so you can bring the Good News to the poor.
I totally GET big, I just don’t DO big. I mean I want to, but as we’ve established, my life verse seems to be Matthew 26:41 and I’m lazy as an old dog by the fire. Big is really overwhelming, and not doing BIG is a little depressing, and OMG it’s all about me.
So for the rest of the year, I’m going to do SMALL. No big gestures, just small ones, because when done at the right time, they can make a BIG impact.
Yeah, basically I’m going to eat a lot of casseroles over Thanksgiving and Christmas and call it an act of kindness. I said it would be small.