Little things

Sometimes in life there is a chain of unrelated but incredible moments. Well, seemingly unrelated I suppose. For the past week, I have encountered what I can only describe as wonders each day. To some people they will be rather trivial, but then I rarely find things in life trivial so perhaps I make them more important than they really are.

It started as I was driving to work last Friday. A sleepy thunderstorm snored as the world began to wake. As I was driving, I saw a doe (a deer… you know, a female deer) run across the road. As my reflexes and mind are trained to do, I slowed down. Where there is one… So I barely see the silhouette of another deer standing the right of the road, when a dazzle of lightning cast its eye upon the world. And there, statuesque and perfectly poised, I saw a buck with an august rack. The lightning seemed to mimic the fork of his antlers as it descended from the heavens, the rack the lightning as it seemed to be pulled to the sky by the retreating bolt.

The next day, I was once again driving to work. This time the morning sun cast its pale smile on the land. The world seemed to be a bowl for its thin, yellow broth. Down by a creek off to the right side, I saw a Great Blue Heron. If you have never seen one in person, the best word to describe them is graceful. They are beautiful and intelligent birds. Ballerinas of the avian world.

Now we move to Sunday night. I took a two hour walk around my neighborhood. The sky was completely clear and the stars winked, flirting with my eyes. The first wonder of the night was a beautiful moth. I was passing some milkweed which I have always liked since I was a kid. Something about it intrigues me. There on one of the waxen leaves was a moth about two inches long. It was some variety of Tiger Moth, white with a few paint drops of black on its wings. It lounged, content to drink the drips of dew strewn about the leaf, beaded perfectly on the glossy green foliage, reflecting the rich orange of a nearby street light.

That night, as I continued, I ended up at a small church close to my house. The field is a lovely place to watch the stars after midnight when most of the lights have gone to sleep. I watched and first saw a lone firefly. He blinked, seemingly in vain. “Hello?” he blinked. “Where is everyone? Is anyone out there?” Only three weeks ago, he would have been surrounded by friends, family. But then, he wasn’t alone just yet. Another light. Then another. Four total including my first acquaintance. So now, sure of my new friend no longer being lonely, my eyes took their leave and turned to the skies. As I enjoyed the moments, a flaming fallen star burned its way over the tree line. I have seen many falling stars, but never has one splayed a trail of fire like this one. It looked like a Chrysanthemum firework shell, trails of glittering flame hanging in the onyx sky before evanescing into the air.

Lastly, today. I was on my way home from school. I sat in my car listening to music, my windows down. My car idled at the traffic light near Allegheny General Hospital. I could see some construction being done ahead of me when I heard what I first thought was a jackhammer. It began to get louder and I knew my first suspicion to be wrong. It was a helicopter coming into the hospital. It slowly sunk, directly in the path of my car, towards the helipad. My car began to wobble side-to-side as it moved over top of it. All around, the trees bowed to the noble aircraft, shreds of grass whipped through my open window. Truly, an awe-inspiring moment.

Whoops, I skipped a day. Yesterday, I was passing through my Starbucks and grabbing a drink. One of my regulars, whom I have now known for 7 years, was behind me. We chatted as we do when we see each other, whether I am working on school stuff or making her drink. I felt one of the small whispers God so often uses to speak (at least to me) to buy her drink. So I did and she proceeded to tell me what a rough day she was having. All in the previous hour nonetheless. And how now there was a bright spot in her day.

I am constantly amazed how God uses the little things to move my heart, uses me in little things to move other people’s hearts. As amazing as all those previous things are, combined even, there is something even more amazing in being used by our Heavenly Father to touch a person’s life. It is humbling on so many levels, perhaps most so in knowing that God would use me to do such a thing. It isn’t the drink that really means something though. It is listening, being able to give a little bit of your life to another person and ease their burden a little bit in so doing. God has given me so many such connections with people through Starbucks. It is one of the few reasons I stay there. He still sees fit to use me in the lives of others there and so I will stay.

Do not despise the little moments in life. All the more, notice them, be aware of them. You will come to find that there are very few “big” things worth doing, that exist at all. Our lives are found, used, made, touched in time’s blinks.

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