Carrots are growing well in my garden, and I was thinking about what a miracle it is that these things sprout from such teeny tiny seeds. It truly is a miracle. Just look at a carrot seed and then hold a carrot in your other hand. Look back and forth. Can you believe that bright orange beauty came from that dull, tiny seed?
I think so often we discount the little things in life, like calling or texting a friend just to say you love them, stopping to pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, holding the door open for someone, or taking a moment to stop, make eye contact with your child and *listen* to what he or she is saying…the little things rarely seem important in the moment.
A little over a week ago, I was running and saw a couple in their 70s working outside their house. I figured they must be the new neighbors since the house had been for sale recently. We live out in the country, so it’s not like having a next door neighbor. They live about a 1/4 mile away.
I almost kept running since I was kind of in the “zone,” but felt compelled to stop and introduce myself. I said hi, asked their names and whether they were our new “neighbors,” and they said yes. Let’s say their names were Rob and Jill. They were moving in on Thursday. We chatted for a few minutes, and I was on my way.
A few days later, I again felt compelled to go by and leave my phone number on their front door with a note in case they needed anything. That was Tuesday.
Saturday morning, I got a call.
“Hi, Shanti, it’s Jill your new neighbor.”
“Hi, Jill! How are you doing? How did the move go??”
“Oh, Shanti. I got your note with your phone number on it when we moved in on Thursday. I thought it was so sweet of you to offer to help. I have some very bad news…” At this point, Jill started weeping. “We moved in Thursday afternoon, and Friday morning, Rob died.”
I was speechless. Devastated. Not because I had a special connection to Rob, I barely knew him. As a matter of fact, I’d go as far as to say that I didn’t know him or Jill at all. But devastated for Jill. I had a special connection to her, because she’s human. And she was hurting. Finally, after a lifetime of waiting to move onto a little piece of property in the country, Rob got his dream. And the next day, he died.
I said what anyone in that situation would say; how incredibly sorry I was for her, how my heart hurt for her. Was there anything I could do?
She said no, she had family with her, but she would be moving back to their old house that day. She didn’t want to live in the country without Rob.
I went to her house, hugged her, talked with her, and hurt for her. She said over and over how much she appreciated my kindness and welcoming.
It was a little thing, stopping to say hi. It was a little thing, leaving my phone number. But those little things connected two people who otherwise would never have crossed paths. Jill’s number is now officially in my phone, and you can guarantee I will be checking in with her periodically, especially over these next few months. Who knows where our relationship will go?
Friends, sometimes the little things are the most meaningful. And if we just pass them by, we miss opportunities to touch lives. You never know when you hold that door open for someone, what kind of day she may be having. You just don’t know how texting a friend randomly may impact her deeply. We just don’t know.
So, don’t miss the little things.
Take a moment to appreciate the little things, and act on the little things. You may be surprised where the little things lead.
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