I opened a box today. It was full of handwritten letters from war…not just one or two, but hundreds and hundreds…one written per day from Southeast Asia to Southeast Pennsylvania, from a man overseas to a wife and young son on the home front. My grandfather made sure to always write a letter to his beloved “bride” and their son, my Dad. He was a man who laughed easily, loved well, and had wisdom and whit to share. Even in his 90s, he could entertain my kids and bring a huge smile to their faces. He left quite a legacy, and I’m so thankful for that and for the son he wrote to in the letters who decades later would be my Dad with his own beautiful legacy for sure!
As I opened the box, I thought of how the most amazing of legacies we leave might seem so ordinary at the time, but become so incredibly extraordinary when accumulated day after day, year after year,…decade after decade. I mean, this incredible collection of letters was just the result of a man sitting down at the end of a day, day after day, and writing a letter. It’s just a simple thing. But simple things, done consistently with good intention make an impact.
Steps become journeys and journeys become destinies and destinies are the stories that our are legacies. All begin with little things like writing a letter or a story, or sharing a meal,doing a job well, or giving an unexpected gift or having a conversation or creating something beautiful. Every big thing comes down to little steps taken day after day and every little step can lead to big things day after day, and year after year.
I’m thinking it’s a good thing to write the letter, to make the call, to schedule the visit. It’s a good thing to have the cup of coffee, and visit the friend. (Seems like at the end of the day those sometimes feel a lot more like accomplishments than checking things off the to do list.) And then one day, even though you might not see it, others might see your fingerprints all over the pages of a loved ones story…just because you did the little thing to make a person know they were big…that their presence really meant something in a big way…in your life. Yep, the older I get, the more I see that little things are big.
p.s. I love the verse that says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”Luke 16:10. Yes, the little things lead us in big ways.