This is the last guest post (for this season). Authors from all different walks and stages of life, from all different expressions of Christianity, have filled in each other’s gaps and told a story of how He turns the bitter, sweet. We’ve tasted bite-sized portions of His move in many streams of the body of Christ.
And today’s post is a fitting close.
Though blogging is the present medium I use for my writing, my life affords little time to read others’ blogs. Michele Perry’s is one I read. She lives in Africa, works with the poor, and presses deeply into the Father. I stumbled upon her blog, through another’s that is on that short list, and found that her pithy inspirations work their way into me. His Spirit rests thick on her writing and I’m so blessed to have her wrap up this stint of guest bloggers.
(For the month of May and two weeks into June, I will be pressing pause on my online writing and this space will become a series of testimonies of what He births in the midst of delay, perplexity and pain. Author friends fromaround the country, who love words on a page and Him even more, will share, here, how they have seen Him make the bitter, sweet.)
“Do the little things.” — St. David of Wales
I walk along the wind-swept shores on the coast of south Wales. Here where rock and sand and waves are blown together. It is one of my favorite places to hide, to take time out to tuck away with Him. It is a wild place and it calls to the wild, untamed places in my own heart longing for more of the One Who is in no way safe but is in all ways good.
Echoes from saints of bygone eras who heard His heartbeat pounding in the surf, who wandered as pilgrims on the earth, who gave of their lives for His Presence and to embrace the poor and marginalized. All these echoes resound on the cliffs and edges of this land. A land of deep wells and wild spaces. Here I am reminded of the unforced rhythms of grace.
St David, the patron saint of Wales, is famous for his saying: Do the Little Things. I have been thinking on that. A lot. Where I am based in Africa, there are a lot of big things needing to be done. Overwhelming problems like war and lack and decades of violence threaten to eclipse my sight. Where I travel in the West, sometimes the shouts of do the big things, impress us and we’ll give you a platform threaten to drown out the whisper-led life of His Spirit. Incredible need and unsanctified expectations mingle in a dangerous cry to just make it, make something, make anything happen.
But here, in the wild open spaces, all the shouts are quiet except for that which shouts within. I pick my way over the rocks and shale, around tidal pools and waves. Walk slow and listen, face turned upward towards heaven. Do the little things. A splash of yellow growing up between the rocks catches my eye. A little thing. A simple bit of beauty that grows in a hard rocky place. I wonder. Is it the harshness of its surroundings that makes this flower all the more beautiful?
Maybe St. David had it right. Maybe it truly isn’t about doing big things. Perhaps it is the little things done with great love that matter most in the light of eternity. And consistently doing these little things in step with Jesus will cause our life echoes to become loud and strong in big ways that shape the world around us.
I don’t have the answers to war, to poverty and to the bitter, hard realities of a hurting, broken world. Even though I spend much of my time in some of its most broken places, I know less now than when I started years ago. But maybe it isn’t about having the right strategies or even the right answers. Maybe all I truly need is to become a splash of yellow growing between the rocks in a wild place that points to heaven.
I pray that all our hard places become the settings that cause His beauty to be all the more astounding in our lives. And that in the face of big problems and bigger expectations to have the right answers, we can simply lean hard on grace to do the little things He shows, one little thing at a time. And just maybe one small love act at a time led by His Spirit will echo louder in eternity than all the good ideas we could ever come up with on our own put together.
Let’s do the little things. Let the rocky hard places become a canvas for His beauty. Love the one in front of us. Lean hard on grace. And change the world.
Michele Perry. Creative whirlwind. Prolific word weaver. Published author. Artist and Illustrator. Wandering Photographer. Unabashed dreamer. She lives part of the year in a recovering war zone in South Sudan on the border with DR Congo serving as the National Field Coordinator for Iris Ministries in South Sudan. Michele’s newest book An Invitation to the Supernatural Life will be released July 1, 2012 from Chosen Books. And you can find her regularly splashing her heart on a page at fromtheunpavedroad.com .