A small thing
Today I carefully hunted through my pictures for photos of someone who I hardly knew. Her name is Thelma, and she was 6 years younger than me. She passed away suddenly a few months ago. She left three small children, including a 1 week old son. I met her because her husband and her father are both pastors and church planters in an indigenous area in southeast Costa Rica.
Thelma didn’t smile much in pictures, though I remember when we talked she smiled easily. She had a sweet, gentle spirit and seemed to always be working. Her daughter is a pretty little girl who has her mother’s round face and old-soul eyes. Her son is rambunctious and giggly, but she was clearly the fixed point that he clung to.
The last time Stephen was there, he asked if the family had pictures of Thelma. The people in this area live very simply, and so it’s rare that they have photos of themselves. They responded that the thought someone had a picture (a tiny, fuzzy one) of her on their phone.
There is very little that I can do to help this grieving family, but I can print some pictures. I only found two. One is a group picture, but she is standing by her husband. You best believe I cropped it down tight enough that it’s just the two of them in that picture. The other one is in a van. The light is behind her and she has a calm little smile. Her little boy, who was only about 3 at the time, has his hand on her chest. Beautiful. Heartbreaking.
I’m not going to post the pictures, because it seems wrong that the whole world would have access to her pretty face when her family does not.
So often it seems that what we have to give to the world is inadequate. It seems like such a small thing, and yet I have faith that God will use even the small things. For today, this is my “cup of water” offered in his name. Maybe it will be a small relief; maybe the God of peace will use it to bring some comfort to a hurting family.
I am so glad that I serve a savior who said he came to fulfill the promise . . .
to comfort all who mourn
and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of despair.