In the last few days I’ve had a lot of people tell me nice things. But why does that matter? Why am I telling you?
Well, those nice things have been unexpected, from people I largely don’t know, and have been about things I don’t often think about. Like painting or sharing my art, talking about poetry, spreading positive words, and even, duking it out on Twitter.
I do a lot of things in course of a day and they are done usually while I’m behind my desk, alone. I send things out into cyber world and hope they reach whoever it is might benefit.
Sometimes I do things because I need to hear them or know them myself.
In this world right now, it might seem very hard to be positive. We can all read the news and see what goes on with our own friends and family on social media, and most of it might be pretty hard to take. Negative. Cold. Confusing.
So here we are, you and me, just trying to get through our days and do our thing with a desire to do something, anything, that might make someone else smile for a moment.
Trouble is, that negativity we must trudge through in order to spead some kind of light weighs on us. We start out bright-eyed with toothy grins and by the end of the day we’re crabby, snappish, and don’t much feel like making anyone else feel better because we don’t feel good ourselves.
We do it anyway. Maybe not as often as we would like. Surely not as often as we should. But if you’re anything like me, you are sick of evil stealing happiness from you for even one more second. So you do the hard work of picking up your hurt and confusion and you take a few steps forward, and in the process you encourage someone else in whatever way you can.
Sometimes I go on Twitter to stand up for what I believe is right. Sometimes I go on Facebook to share something positive that will encourage. Sometimes I just stop and admire the clouds and post them on Instagram because in the midst of the world’s craziness, a simple thing like a cloudscape that takes my breath away is enough to remind me that there is a purpose for our world and a better place beyond it.
And then, some days I get an influx of posivity from others. It happens like that, suddenly, like a wave of goodness that caresses your cheeks and moves on quickly, leaving you just a little bit braver, a little bit more grateful than before.
And then you realize, it all matters, everything you do.
When you think that smile you gave the stranger who didn’t return it wasn’t worth anything, when you post something that makes you happy even though it’s kind of silly, when you stand up to hate even though it might mean you get more hate thrown your way… all those things matter.
When you choose forgiveness and move on imperfectly and tenatively forward, you show that finding happiness despite trauma is possible. When you ignore gossip and start a deep conversation with someone instead, when you simply shut your trap and listen to someone who needs to be heard, it matters.
If you are like me, you think about all the stuff you don’t do right. You want to. You start the day with such high hopes but the insurance company is giving you a hard time and that relationship isn’t going smoothly and you’re not feeling very good about yourself… it can seem like everything you do is wrong and doesn’t matter anyway.
But even the smallest thing you do can help God work a miracle. Even the simplest gesture can speak volumes because God works with all our efforts and makes them extraordinary. We are small, but He isn’t.
I want you to know this: Everything you do is probably more right than you know… and it all matters. Your actions, every last one, matter. Your words. Your heart. Your voice. They matter.