The Little Things

A reflection on 1 Kings 17:7-16 by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB

In the Book of Kings, we hear that the brook near where Elijah was hiding had run dry because no rain had fallen.  As we know, there is a real test of hope when it’s really dry, because there’s the sense that it’s really out of our hands.  So Elijah leaves his cave and goes to Zarephath and asks the widow he meets there for a small cup of water to drink.  Water was precious in the drought, so you notice he doesn’t ask for a few gallons, or even a large glass of water.  He is sensitive to the situation, so he asks for a small cup.  This scenario reminds me of how God is with us—He knows what we can give and what we can’t give.  He’s well aware of when it’s difficult, and of the things we struggle with.  He doesn’t put a load on us heavier than we can carry—He’s very sensitive to us.  He too says, “Bring me a small amount.  Bring me even the little you may feel like you don’t have.  Just a little bit, please bring Me.”  It’s like the times when we are so tired and ready to leave the chapel, and yet what do we do?  We turn around and kneel, just for a minute, to say, “I love you,” and ask for His blessing.  Or there may be a time when someone has been particularly nasty to us, but we have a moment of grace and, before we end our time together, we have the charity to say, “Thank you.”  It’s just a small thing, but these small things give life.  They mirror the tenderness of God.  When we know God’s tenderness we are tender toward each other.  However tender you are, that is how tender God is toward you that you’ve noticed.  It’s not that He isn’t tender—it’s that you haven’t always noticed.  Pay attention to the tenderness of God, because it will stretch your soul to holiness.  Start to notice the little ways in which God blesses you throughout the day. 

Illustration by one of our Sisters of Christ feeding the 5,000 (John 6:1-13)