Little Things

by | May 14, 2013 | Hope, Kindness, Love

When I was in college, I shared an American Thanksgiving supper with friends. We spent the day cooking together – turkey, potatoes, green beans, yams and, of course, dinner rolls. I was in charge of the rolls. Looking back, that may have been a mistake.

I love to eat raw dough. Most any kind will do – cookie dough, cake batter, biscuit dough, bread dough – you get the idea. So I rolled out the yeast dough, sliced off a corner and ate it, rolled some more, sliced and ate, rolled, sliced, ate…. I don’t know how much of the dough I consumed before the rolls hit the oven, but I remember it as a wonderful afternoon. Until about a half-hour later.

Yeast, it seems, likes a dark, moist, warm environment. In me, it found one and did what yeast does best – it grew. And grew. And grew.

After a while my stomach was distended and I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy with a burping disorder.

It was soon time for supper and I felt too full to eat anything. All of that scrumptious food and I couldn’t eat.

That day I gained a new respect for the power of yeast; it doesn’t take much to make a big difference.

Little things make a big difference. Little things like yeast. Little things like kindness.

Douglas, a fifteen year old boy who lived in Missouri (USA), had been feeling badly for several days. His mother Donna took him to the emergency room where blood tests revealed one of the most frightening things a parent can learn about a child. Her son was diagnosed with leukemia.

Douglas’ life changed. He began a routine of blood transfusions, spinal and bone marrow tests and chemotherapy. The physical trauma was one thing, but he also became depressed. And who wouldn’t? He lost is former life, his healthy self. All of those exciting dreams and plans a young boy has for his future vanished, and in their place all he could see was somebody with cancer. Somebody who may or may not live long. Somebody whose life would be very different than before.

He had a good hospital and good doctors. But it he did not have hope. And without it, he was in serious jeopardy.

Douglas’ aunt called a florist close to the hospital. She wanted the sales clerk to be aware of the flower arrangement’s significance. “I want the planter to be especially attractive. It’s for my teenage nephew who has leukemia,” she told the clerk.

“Oh,” said the salesclerk. “Let’s add some fresh-cut flowers to brighten it up.”

When the floral arrangement arrived Douglas opened the envelope and read the card from his aunt. Then he saw something unusual. It was another card. The second card read:

“Douglas–I took your order. I work at (this floral shop). I had leukemia when I was seven years old. I’m 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura.”

Douglas smiled. He finally felt some real hope. And why not? Here was a person who also had cancer and new she was 22 and working! If she could do it, so could he. Douglas found what he needed. He found the will to live.

Little things make a big difference. Little things like kindness and encouragement and hope. Little things all of us can give.

And it doesn’t take much to make a big difference.

Steve Goodier


Little Things