Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The little things

You never know what little things you choose to do throughout a day will end up making big ripples in the water of life.

Last week a kid (around 19 years old) came by the church because he got himself pulled over for speeding, arrested for drug possession, car impounded, driven 40 miles south of where he lived by the police, and making bail that day he found himself 40 miles from home without a car, stranded in Norman.

So here he comes, up the steps to the church office, buzzes in and says, "I need some help".  He was one of those teenagers that you can see past the actual events/consequences of some bad choices and know that he's really, actually, a good kid.

He mentioned that his phone needed to be charged so that he could call someone, get a ride back up north to his hometown, and not have to be homeless in Norman for the night (or next couple of nights).

Sure enough, we had the same brand of phone, and that meant that I had a charger he could use.  After spending about 15 minutes talking, I handed him the charger and suggested he go rest somewhere, charge his phone, make his calls, then bring it back when he was finished.  He looked at me with one of those you-are-actually-going-to-trust-me-to-bring-this-back expressions.  I said, "Here's your chance to make a good decision.  It's up to you."

I walked him out the front doors of the church; he kind of smirked and looked back a few times.  About three hours later I get a call from the office saying I have a visitor and he's coming down to see me (normally, a "visitor" is supposed to wait in our lobby area for me to come to them.  So, I didn't know what was up).  I stepped outside of my door and loe and behold, it was him, charger in hand, and a big smile on his face.  He had the look of someone who despite getting pulled over, despite being arrested, knew he could still make a good choice.

I know it might seem like a really insignificant situation, but I guarantee we underestimate the little acts of grace we could be showing people everyday.

And guess what.  A week later, he shows up again at the church, wanting to say thanks for what we had done.  He showed me his new haircut, shave, and nice attire (because he had to appear before the judge that day).  To top it all off, this time he brought his mom.  I met her and told her what a good son she had, how he had brought back my charger, and as if she was beginning to doubt it, tears welled up in her eyes.

If you're waiting around for something big to be a part of, remember, the big things are made up of a million little things.