Friday, September 17, 2010

Beauty In the Little things…

Why does our family see beauty in the little things? Well, because the leader of our family does. Papa never seems to be bored with the little fascinations with nature. I think that's one of the reasons mama married him, because in all his high and precise thoughts he never lost his love of the little things.
We have a lot of kids who are still little right now, but people rarely have trouble seeing beauty in children. Babies are always awwed, ooed, and coooed over for a couple years usually.
However, not everyone sees beauty in the little things of nature or science…a mushroom on a trail, a seed pod on the ground, water reacting (or not) to oil, colors changing in flowers, bees going about their business gather pollen, ants carrying food to their home. Most of us would pass over these and consider them not important, but for us papa has taught us how and why to appreciate them. The primary way he teaches is by his example, he is genuinely interested in the stuff himself.
But he isn't just interested in the things that are small themselves, but also the tasks that we consider ordinary and little in importance. Some dads won't bother themselves about house cleaning, about meal preparations, about everyday tasks, they have more important things to do. They may have very legitimate reasons for doing so, but regardless, our dad isn't. Our dad is interested and involved in everything from making supper (on occasion—not every night), washing dishes, cleaning the house before a trip, helping a kid with his math, or an older one manage his money, editing/grading a writing assignment, etc. This doesn't mean he does all that everyday or all the time, but he is willing. Because of this we are a family who is by and large willing to do even small tasks around the house. We see that there is beauty even in doing the smallest task to God's glory.
Every kid has a slightly different angle on their own cleaning style whether it be Josiah who vacuumed the whole house at age 8 or something, or Zachariah with his "hurrying noise," we all have developed a sense of seeing beauty in the little things.
This doesn't mean that each one of us shares the same passion for nature that papa has, but how those lessons translate to the rest of life have been more or less instilled (and are still being instilled) in each one of us as a family. Mama never seems to tire of putting the kids to bed each night, that small task which means so much to them. Beauty in the small things.
Why do we see beauty in the small things? Well, one reason is that small things add up to big things. Reading to kids and putting them to bed at night is a very small thing, but when done a lot it creates big and lasting memories. What was small added up to something big and important. Papa and mama recognize that material goods are no substitute for quality time spent with children, so instead of showing the kids with gifts they shower them with little presents of their presence.

However, there is a bigger reason to see beauty in the small things and to care about them. One may concede that small things add up to bigger things, but what can possibly be the lasting value of stopping to admire a mushroom? Well, there's actually a very simply answer, our Heavenly Father values it. Did you know that? Did you ever stop to think about all the things God made just for His own enjoyment? When you stop to admire that mushroom, that ant, that seedpod, you are sharing in the delight of your Father. Do you like to watch fish in an aquarium? Think about the "aquarium" God made for His own enjoyment? We are imitating our Father when we enjoy even the smallest aspects of His creation. Sure, it's flawed, but He's going to make it all right some day, and there is still a lot of beauty left in it. Jesus was making a different point when He talked about two sparrows being sold for a penny, but He said very explicitly that our Heavenly Father cares for even the sparrows. The smallest little bird or bug is under the watchful eye of God and He is not only enjoying its beauty but also caring for its well being. A related question to ask is if God cares about the little things in life? Well, how about washing people's feet? Despite the fact that Jesus was making a specific point is washing feet really all that important? But beyond this we have Jesus telling us that even the one who gives a cup of cold water to one of His servants that one will not lose his reward. Jesus cares very much about even the smallest things in everyday life.

We are children of a Heavenly Father who sees beauty in the little things and so we cannot help but do the same. Just as the earthly father of this family has shaped us, so our Heavenly Father has shaped us even more!

God sees the little sparrow fall,
It meets His tender view;
If God so loves the little birds,
I know He loves me, too.

He paints the lily of the field,
Perfumes each lily bell;
If He so loves the little flow’rs,
I know He loves me well.

God made the little birds and flow’rs,
And all things large and small;
He’ll not forget his little ones,
I know He loves them all.

He loves me, too, He loves me, too,
I know He loves me, too;
Because He loves the little things,
I know He loves me, too.


  1. Another great post. Someday I'll get around to writing another one... : )

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Thanks for you and Londa posting thought provoking topics. You are arrows! I look forward to seeing where you go.