Yesterday I happened upon a small creature in my kitchen sitting on top of an unopened cat food can. It was green, about an inch and a half long, and looked like the delicate stem of a plant, with long thin legs that looked more like tendrils. I knew it didn’t belong in my kitchen and wasn’t safe there from curious cats – but I wasn’t sure how to get it outdoors again. Fortunately, the sliding door was just a few feet away, so I carefully moved the can, hoping the creature would stay put. It did, until the door opened, and then it dropped to the floor, a few inches from the outside. I was able to gently scoop it up and set it outdoors on the floor of the deck. I have no idea what happened to it – whether some passing bird saw a tasty morsel, or if the creature is even now attacking my nasturtiums. It didn’t matter – I knew that had it stayed in my house its demise would have been certain and most likely imminent. This way, there were possibilities. And this act of generosity, small as it was, was immensely gratifying to me – and, I hope, to this small creature!
We are faced with these opportunities for generosity every day – a kind word, a kind act, a presence in the life of another or in our care of the world around us. Food for the food pantry baskets (see the lists – kids home from school for the summer put extra burdens on family finances). Pulling some weeds in the garden (Jesus has a very interesting parable about this in this week’s gospel). Making someone laugh. A cup of tea or a cold drink, offered to someone unexpectedly. Other ways we share ourselves, our times, our talents, our very being, make a difference in the world, and in ourselves.
The readings for this Sunday are full of wisdom and generosity. Psalm 139 is one of my all time favorites, and a place to which I return, over and over again, especially when I am feeling less than significant in this world. It reminds me of God’s continuing, abiding and abundant love for me, wherever I may be.
1 Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
2 You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways…
Find the rest of this psalm, along with all the readings, here: http://www.lectionarypage.net. Just click on the date in the calendar to find the readings.
The Collect also reminds us of God’s generosity and abundant love, and of our own challenges in living into that love.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP- page 231
May we all look for the small things, be blessed by them, and, in turn, be a blessing to them as we are able.
In Christ’s love,