Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.” Gandalf
In our superhero movies of today, the main story being told is lost vs found, light vs darkness, people journeying together to fight evil with good. They want to do what's right and just to keep our world safe. We like to watch those movies for many reasons but in the end they make us feel good and that all is good with the world again.
Then we get back to reality, the world we live in. If your life is anything like mine, the speed in which we live our lives can present a real challenge to enjoying a healthy family life. We are like jugglers in a circus act and we keep asking or have more things thrown at us to juggle. I think this is an appropriate illustration for how so many of us live. We face so many competing priorities as parents, adults and students, we want our children to succeed, we want to learn new hobbies, we want to experience meaningful activities, develop healthy relationships, and above all grow in our relationship with Jesus.
A lot of them are great things. We have school, work, kids to look after, relationships to develop and various other things fill our lives up. As we do all theses things our lives can get hectic and busy and we lose sight of why we are doing all these things. We tend to not stop to take a breath and see where we are going.
And then sometimes things happen in our lives that will make us stop and take a breath and I think God puts these things in our lives for a reason. A reminder of who he is and why we follow him. This happened to me last week.
I went to a funeral in Hamilton, Ontario. It was my best friends’ mom who passed away. I called her auntie. Our families were very close growing up in Winnipeg. We did a lot of things together. Hospitality is one of the things the Malayali (my Indian heritage) community do very well, and especially at Christmas — from Dec 23-31 we are out every night at each other houses.
As funerals do, it made me think. I thought about how I need to see my parents soon, about my family life and where it's going and how we got here. There were many conversations before and after the funeral as we reminisced and celebrated my aunt’s life.
We realized we were very thankful for our parents in how they brought us up. They were not perfect by any means, but they did give us opportunities to grow and try different things. They pushed us hard in our studies. They did set an example in faith and how they gave us opportunities to be spurred on in our faith from Christian camps, monthly prayer meetings and were examples to us in how they lived their day to day life. It was in their small everyday deeds of kindness and love (that we might not agree with all the time) that helped us to grow and realize the importance of following Jesus. They knowingly or unknowingly built a healthy community for us to grow up in.
As I heard many people speak during the funeral it was the little things that stood out in my aunt’s life: how she prayed with her husband when her kids went to bed, how she would take care of her children and grandchildren. Often around the house you could hear her singing — she loved to sing.
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace and be thankful.”
We need to find time on regular basis to stop and let the peace of Christ take over all the competing priorities in our lives and be thankful for what God has done and is doing in our lives. It would help us be alert and present to the needs around us. It would help us ordinary folk to do small everyday deeds of kindness and love that keep the busyness and evil at bay. Those deeds would help strengthen our neighbourhood and our church community.