When I was seven I was at a baseball game, hanging out around the concession stands when my neighbor, Mr. Lambert, called me over.
He said, “Mike, come here. I want to give you something.”
He then reached into his pocket and handed me a shiny fifty-cent piece.
Mr. Lambert then said, “Here, I want you tohave this.” He handed it to me, smiled and walked away.
I thought I had won the lottery. For one moment in time Mr. Lambert recognized me.
It was a small thing. The fifty cents hardly made a dent in his income stream, but to this seven-year-old, it was a large moment. The money lasted about ten minutes. The memory, almost sixty years now.
Mother Theresa tells a story of offering to clean an old man’s house for him. After many refusals, he finally agreed. During the cleaning, she discovered an old and lovely lamp covered in dust. She asked if he ever lighted the lamp.
He answered, “No. No one comes to see me. I have no need to light it. Who would I light it for?”
She asked, “Would you light it every night if the sisters came?”
He replied, “Of course.”
From that day on the sisters committed themselves to visiting him every evening. They cleaned and lighted the lamp with every visit.
Two years passed. Mother Teresa had completely forgotten that man when he sent a message to her: “Tell my friend that the light she lit in my life continues to shine still.”
She says, “I thought it was a very small thing. We often neglect small things.”
~In the Heart of the World – Mother Teresa
You see, sometimes we light a light in someone’s life that never goes out.
What a small act.
What a lasting gift.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time