God in the Details
By Terry Brown of Pigeon, MI, USA
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. —Philippians 4:8–9 NRSV
As a legislator during the Great Recession, big issues constantly bombarded me. These were issues that loomed over Michigan and could have threatened our way of life. Lack of jobs, economic upheaval, businesses moving away…these were hard times for many who were working hard and losing much.
As chairman of the House School Aid Committee, I was responsible for a $13 billion-dollar budget which funded 850 public schools and over 1.6 million students. These are big issues and often too big to fully grasp.
Yet one day I watched as an older gentleman pulled his car up to the door of a restaurant for his aged mother. He opened the hatchback, pulled out her walker and helped her to the table next to ours. It took about 15 minutes to get her settled into her chair. I wondered how many more meals they would be able to share together.
I marveled at his patience, at his caring, and at his dedication to what most of us just take for granted. He could have used the time to clean his garage, mow the lawn, take in a baseball game, get some “me” time, watch the stock market, or make a dollar at work. But he chose to be faithful in the “little details.”
Scripture challenges us to intervene in concerns some might consider too small:
“As revealed in Christ, God, the Creator of all, ultimately is concerned about behaviors and relationships that uphold the worth and giftedness of all people and that protect the most vulnerable. Such relationships are to be rooted in the principles of Christ-like love, mutual respect, responsibility, justice, covenant, and faithfulness, against which there is no law.” —Doctrine and Covenants 164:6a
Are you ready today to stop and take stock of what you can do? It might be a word of encouragement to someone feeling lost and alone. You might volunteer to help a young family or a senior citizen. Little efforts may make big differences in affirming the worth of all people.
Prayer for Peace
God of peace, we are grateful you have entrusted us with doing Christ’s mission. Often we lose sight of details that seem small, and we need you to remind us of their worth. Often we deny concerns that seem too big, because they overwhelm us. Help us remember, with you by our side we can keep on doing what will bring peace.
Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has for you and everyone. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How does God invite you to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.
Today, God, I will be patient and caring with details that affirm life.