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A little story

November 27, 2013

A lot of times it’s the seemingly little things in life that have the most lasting impact on us. Here is a story, that I heard told, about some of those little things. A little country. A little building. A little child. A little dirt. A little time. A little smile.

This little story, when I read it, sounded a bit familiar. As I share it with you, I hope that you will enjoy it, as I did. It begins, not unlike many of these little stories do, with ‘once upon a time’ a little child travelled from a large country to a little country. The country, in its smallness, squeezed the child, pinched the child, threatened to crush the child. The child felt the little country’s smallness in every way, but the child’s BIG God was there too. This child’s God was not one of those small gods with a lowercase “g”, false and powerless. He is the God of EVERYTHING, true and all-powerful. Even knowing that, the little child was lonely in the little country. But the child’s God held the child’s little hand in His large and loving one. And He promised never to leave.

While in the little country, God walked with the little child through many adventures, hardships and heartaches. One trial nearly broke the child’s heart. However, God gave the child some good friends who also had put their little hands in His. Together the little friends walked along through life’s adventures and shared their joys and sorrows. Often, the little friends would meet in a little building to learn more about their great big God. Eventually more friends joined them and the group outgrew the little building and they began searching for a bigger one to share.

After a long search, and just when the little child was getting ready to leave the little country, the group found a bigger building and began their move. The children carefully packed up the contents of the little building. They wanted to leave it in good condition for the new occupants. So, the children set aside one day when they had decided to clean the building. They washed floors and windows and vacuumed carpets and cleaned toilets. They dusted. They swept. They scrubbed and straightened. At the end of the day the children were tired.

The little child from the big country helped clean the little building too. Because the child’s time in the little country was drawing to a close the child would not be meeting with the growing group in the bigger building, but that was alright with the little child. The child was sad about saying goodbye, but the child’s God was leading the child on a new adventure. So, going here and there that cleaning day, the child had done many little things to help clean the little building. At the end of the day the tired child noticed one more place that needed cleaning. The little building’s entryway had seen a lot of traffic. Sand, dirt, mud, and leaves mixed with rainwater and caked the floor. It was very dirty. The little child picked up the broom and swept. The vacuum helped to suck up the sand from the carpet. The mop scrubbed the tiles. Finally finished, the child passed the cleaning supplies on to another to be packed up and transported away to the bigger building. The child’s heart said goodbye to the little building and the group of friends.

Returning for a raincoat and umbrella, the child noticed the corner of the entryway. Dirt. A tiny little bit of dirt in the very corner. No one else would see it, but the child had. The child sighed and went to find something with which to clean up the corner. With a wet paper towel in hand, the child returned once again, kneeled, and began to wipe the little bit of dirt out of the very corner.

Quietly then, came the still small voice. Small, but powerfully penetrating. “No one will ever notice that little bit of dirt. This whole entryway will be filthy again before anyone notices it. Why are you cleaning up that little bit?” asked the God of EVERYTHING.

“Yes, I know, Lord. But Lord, I see this dirt and You see this dirt,” responded the little child.

“Would you take a little time and clean up this little bit of dirt for Me?”

In awe, the child’s heart said, “Yes Lord, I will clean up this little bit of dirt for You.”

“Thank you.” And, a little smile. That filled the child’s eyes with tears; the child’s soul with joy.


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