I’ve come across the following words from St. Therese of Lisieux often over the past few months: “Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”
The more I see her words, the more they move me.
The French-born Patron Saint of Missions, St. Therese was also known as the Little Flower. We celebrated her feast day Oct. 1. From what I’ve read about her, she lived her life doing lots of little things out of love.
We often get so caught up in our day-to-day tasks that it’s easy for us to forget the small acts we can do for others to boost their spirits and remind them they’re loved. Not only can we offer little acts of kindness to our loved ones, but we can do it for strangers, too.
As the holiday season is upon us, it reminds me of hearing how people pay it forward for others, like buying a cup of coffee for the stranger in line behind them or maybe buying another person’s lunch at the local fast-food joint. Typically, the person who receives the random act of kindness then returns the gesture to another stranger as a way to pay it forward.
I love hearing these stories, and some of my friends and family members have been the recipients of such good deeds. However, it doesn’t have to cost anything to do little things for others.
Can you remember the last time someone held the door open for you? Something as simple as that can make a person’s day better. Or allow the driver in the lane next to you to merge in front of you during rush-hour traffic.
As St. Therese of Lisieux said, “Remember … that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.”
It’s hard to realize as a kid, but the gift of time to make memories is so special. I have many fond memories of loved ones giving me their time. I recall camping with my grandpa Joe and cousin at Harmonie State Park; my mom making me French toast to enjoy while watching Saturday morning cartoons; and constantly re-watching the 1998 movie “Armageddon” with my dad – and both of us crying at the same part. Actually, my dad and I still do this.
These memories may seem silly or insignificant; but years later, I still look back on them and smile. So, if you’re able, give a little time to a loved one or friend. If all you can do is send a simple text to see how they’re doing, that can mean the world to them to know you care.
My husband makes me a cup of coffee every morning for me to drink on my drive to work. He’s usually already on the phone or computer dealing with his job; but without fail, he makes me my coffee and has it in my car waiting for me. His little act of kindness kick-starts my mornings and makes them so much happier.
It can be easy to skip the little things when it feels like our plate is already full, but do them anyway and ask for St. Therese’s intercession. Remember how much those small acts meant when someone did them for you. If you can brighten someone’s day and make them smile, why wouldn’t you?
“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love,” St. Therese tells us.