Yesterday, I came across this article about Abebech Gobena, an Ethiopian woman also known as “Africa’s Mother Teresa.” She started the first orphanage in Ethiopia 30 years ago and now runs an orphanage that houses and educates more than 700 children. It’s worth a read to remind us that there are good people in the world, doing amazing things.
God doesn’t call all of us to start an orphanage for hundreds of children, and sometimes I have to remind myself that doesn’t mean the “rest of us” aren’t called to be saints. Some of the most amazing people I know live humble lives as working mommies and daddies. They have no idea how powerfully God uses them to love and inspire others.
St. Therese (Mother Teresa’s chosen namesake) reminded us that “God doesn’t call all of us to do great things, but he calls all of us to do small things with great love.” So what are my opportunities for “small things with great love”?
A few ideas: Cooking dinners for friends in need; having extra play time with my little boy; giving up a seat or place in line; sending a sweet note to a sick grandparent; getting off my cell phone in the checkout line; sending an encouraging note to a struggling friend; even giving Michael the best of the leftovers for his lunch the next day.
I think that God–and “great love”–are often in the minutiae. A lot of saints never started orphanages or traveled the world. A lot of them were people who lived ordinary lives doing ordinary things: cooking, raising children, cleaning and working. So why are they saints? It must have been because they were extraordinary in the small things.
I’m still working on pouring out “great love” on Gabriel when I’m cleaning up one of his Nuclear Bomb poopy diapers, but I’m hoping that I’m a step in the right direction if I start with maintaining a good sense of humor 🙂