doing small things with great love

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately on Shane Claiborne’s words… what does it mean to do small things with great love?

I will confess, I am not good at doing small things with great love. I love doing BIG things, and the love seems to get lost. I’m a visionary person. I love the BIG picture, the BIG idea, the BIG movement, the BIG vision, the BIG changes. Long ago I decided that it was best to think big and radical, and that if you thought small it meant that you were settling for the status quo and were being too realistic. If all things are possible with God, you should think huge, right?

But lately I have had a change of mind. I am still going to remain a radical visionary, and I will think big, but I am learning that I must start with the small. I can dream of world peace, but I need to start by not getting in a fight with the students at work. I can dream of a world without poverty, but I need to start by being generous to the needs of those around me. I can dream of a world without racism, but I need to start by making friends with people of all backgrounds and races. I have seen too many times that my big ideas weren’t lining up with my daily actions, and if I want to see change in this world, I need to begin with myself.

As a social-justice lover, a “systems” thinker, a “social reformer”, it’s very easy to overlook my daily actions of unlove, unpeace, and injustice. I have gone too far in one direction, of only seeing the big, that I have missed the small.

We can do no great things; only small things with great love. -Mother Teresa 

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