The Message: A reminder that God does great things in small ways – Watertown Public Opinion


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Where we used to live, my wife Holly and I would walk nearly every day. Part of our walk was through the city park. There was an elderly couple we often saw, shuffling along the walking path, arm in arm. Over time, we noticed they would walk a ways and then sit on a bench. We didn’t know who they were or where they lived, but we would greet them and they us.

One day, while visiting people at the local nursing home, I realized that one of the residents in the memory unit was the wife part of the couple we often saw out on the walking paths. I greeted the woman, but there was no response. No recollection of me. She looked at me with blank eyes.

I knew one of the staff so asked about the woman. She said that this woman’s husband comes nearly every day, and, when the weather is favorable, he carefully loads her in the car and they drive to the park for a walk. This seems to be the only time there is life in the eyes of this Alzheimer’s-clouded woman.

There are many things to be discouraged about in life. I don’t need to list them, you know them all too well.

I encourage you to watch for the small ways in which people are living out the qualities God calls each of us to. We might not be able to change the world, but we can afffect the little slice of it we inhabit.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear to his disciples that to follow him, they most live differently from the rest. Gentle in a harsh world. Kind in an in-your-face society. Generous in a me-first culture. Peaceful in a world torn apart by violence.

Learning the back story of the elderly couple walking arm in arm in the park caused me to give thanks for my marriage, for people who cut me some slack when I err, for the family I was raised in who disciplined with a hug and an assurance of love.

God is still active in the world in the small ways we live our faith. Watch for the grace notes in life.

Kent Stillson is the pastor at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Watertown.

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