One Small Thing

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, August 2, 2022 comes to us from Janet Ann Collins of California.

38 As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.

40 They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely." 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on." Mark 12:38-44 NIV


One Small Thing

When I was 11 years old, I was sent to a convalescent home for children because of my severe asthma. The first week, all new patients stayed in the same unit. While there I met a girl named Gladys, who was deaf and had no fingers on one hand. At that time in the United States, deaf children weren’t allowed to use sign language, but she and I would communicate with gestures when the nurses weren’t looking. We were only in the same unit for one week; but because of Gladys, as an adult I learned American Sign Language, worked at California School for the Deaf, married a sign language interpreter, raised three deaf foster children, and interpreted services in sign language for several churches.

We never know when God can use some small circumstance to make a big difference. I remember how Jesus praised the woman for giving only two coins to the temple treasury because it was all she had to live on. She had no idea people would be inspired by her faithful giving for thousands of years. God can use our smallest encounters to inspire us to make a big difference for the world and for others, even though we may not know this side of heaven how God does that!


Friends –

Of course, we think of God as “big and great”, but Janet Ann Collins reminds us that God is also very present in many “tiny” actions and events. God’s very big, loving kindness can be displayed in the smallest actions and shared with those who need to experience that same love and acceptance from God. So, no matter how small or insignificant our actions may seem, God is working through those moments to share unconditional grace. I invite you to recall moments when someone’s small acts of kindness have made a big difference in your life. Or perhaps, something small that you did had a significant impact on someone else.

--Pastor bea


Heavenly Father, help us live faithfully, freely giving what we have for your glory. Amen.

--Janet Ann Collins

Prayer Focus:

Sign Language Interpreters

Thought for the Day:

My small acts of love and faith can show others God is worthy of praise.