words by jenny
My dad’s extend family is made up of the most lovely people. The genes on his dad’s side of the family tree abound with creativity and a bent towards the arts. They are painters and musicians and art teachers and writers and craftsman. When they are together laughter is plentiful and you can tell that they see and experience the world through this creative lens that is sometime easy for me to push aside for more “practical” or “efficient” or “logical” way. They are the type of people who bring nourishment to the soul just by sitting around them and they make you want to embrace life in all its beauty and brokenness more fully. I always walk away from times with them hoping that I am a little more like them when I grow up.
The last time I was with this tribe was at the celebration of my grandmother’s 90th birthday party. It was a great day of celebrating many years of life and catching up with family that is usually separated by many miles. I sat sipping a cup of coffee with a cousin of my father’s for a while after the spontaneous hymn sing wrapped up (I told you, they are a great group of human beings). We caught up on life and she asked about our return to Ecuador. At that point, we had not yet begun fundraising for our long-term service, but she let me know we could count on her support again.
She had been one of our most faithful supporters during our time as short term missionaries – at $6 a month. During the course of our conversation, I thanked her for walking so faithfully with our family when we were in Ecuador before. She made a comment about how she knew that it wasn’t much money, but it was what she could do. And then she said something that has stuck with me and I have been trying to play on repeat in my mind since then. Smiling, she turned to me and said, “You know Jenny, I am just a strong believer that if we all would do what little we can where we can, the world would be a different place”.
They are words that have haunted me over the past year in the best way possible. A call to remember that I don’t have to do it all or be it all, but to do what I can. A call to refuse to let excuses or fear or failure take the front seat. A call to not dwell on what I cannot do, but instead focus on what I can. A call to key in on the places in my life where I am being called to small, faithful steps. A call to participate in the abundant life God has called me to, even when my efforts or place can feel insignificant from my vantage point.
Because let me tell you that from my vantage point, my cousin’s monthly pledge was a source of immense encouragement to me. Perhaps not grand in financial value, but huge in the support that it communicated to our family. We knew that she was in it with us for the long haul, in small and faithful steps. Her name would appear on our monthly donor reports with that single digit number next to it and it would fill me up. It meant the world to me that she didn’t let a seemingly “small” pledge stop her from her support of our family and the church in Ecuador. She partnered in the way that she could and she chose to participate.
Her name recently showed up on our reports again, with an $8 monthly pledge attached, reminding me once again to be faithful. To show up and participate where and in what I am being called to, even when it seems unimportant or insignificant to me. Because from another’s point of view, it could be more significant than I will ever know.
We are still looking for monthly financial partners to help us reach our fundraising goal. We would love to see your name show up on our monthly reports! No pledge is too small… or too big for that matter. Click here to easily set up monthly giving.
Such a good reminder. It is in the small that faithfulness is revealed. Thank you for this reminder.
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Like I said, something I need to be reminded of often! Thanks for reading, Em!
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