It’s October. In Texas, the humid temperatures have been in the 80 & 90’s. This past weekend, at an outdoor event, I was as hot as I’ve ever been. I kept saying, “But, this is October.” The 10 day forecast, though, says relief is actually coming. It mentions lows in the 50’s and 40’s. I’m planning my week around that smidgen of hope.
In our country, the last few weeks have been exhausting. Now maybe, some dust is settling, for a time. I find myself scanning the horizon for some hope. I see a little here and there. My college-age son and his friends are getting absentee ballots in order to vote. I find that hopeful.
When life becomes overwhelming, whatever the reason, and there are so many reasons it gets that way, I go small. Not petty and rude small. Not small talk small. I find it helpful to go small in finding a smidgen of hope.
In my husband’s grandmother’s home, after she died, we found a tiny white pitcher. It is one inch tall with a tiny handle. It doesn’t even hold a thimble of water. I asked at the time if I could have it, it intrigued me so. Now when life seems too big and messy, I love finding a tiny bloom or piece of greenery and putting it that tiny vase, reminding me a smidgen of beauty will do.
Lighting one candle will do it for me too. Right now, I’m burning a lavender candle my friend Julie gave me. One flame helps me write. It helps me conquer big things.
We have a fountain on our back patio, it came with the house. Yearly, it quits working. Today, I decided it was time to fix it, in case it turns cool, in case I can open the back door a crack and hear it. I had to take all the stale water out a pitcher at a time. Then, I had to downsize to a cup and finally a spoon. I took it apart and cleaned up the motor, filled it with water and turned it on, It didn’t work.
I started the whole process over. Pitcher by pitcher, cup by cup, spoonful by spoonful because I needed my fountain to work. I almost gave up. Finally, I hit the motor with a stick a couple of times and it came back to life. I added water again and now it works.
It was the littlest thing but gave me what I needed, spoonful by spoonful, a smidgen of hope.
Psalm 36:6-9, The Message translation, capped it off for me,
God’s love is meteoric,
God’s loyalty astronomic,
God’s purpose titanic,
God’s verdicts oceanic.
Yet in God’s largeness nothing gets lost;
not a person, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,
to eat our fill at the banquet you spread
as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light, and your open our eyes to light.
The promise of cool after a long hot summer, one vote, a tiny bloom in a tiny pitcher, one candle, a fountain, the Word of God, a smidgen of hope when it is all too much.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor.