The Power of the Small


Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can make the biggest impact in the world around us, and in our quest to change the world we can so often look past our world.  So often the simple things can be overlooked in the quest to focus on making a big impact.  I truly believe that this world we live in will be transformed more by the many doing the few things right – right where they are – than the few reaching the many.  Never underestimate the power of the small.

One of the ways Jesus teaches me things about myself as well as Himself, God and Holy Spirit, is through dreams.  These dreams often focus on small, yet significant truths that I am overlooking.  During the summer of 2017, I had a significant dream that God continues to speak to me about.

The Dream

I stood in the corner of the building looking up at balconies stretching up multiple floors.  How was I to get to my room?  As I gazed up pondering the fact that my room was up quite a distance from where I stood, I was also taking notice of my surroundings.  What was this place I was in?

The space I found myself in was so confusing to me.  Was I in an airport or a mall perhaps?  It didn’t look like a typical hotel, that’s for sure! The center had eating spaces and was really tall and open.  I knew hotel rooms were here but there was something very different about the space.  Tall metal support structures crisscrossed over my head. 

Suddenly I found myself in front of a reception desk speaking to the desk clerks.  Interestingly enough, they were a couple I recognized from a home improvement TV show focused on transforming disaster homes into homes to resell for profit.  How odd that they would be here of all places!

I explained my situation to them and they handed me the key to the room.  Why hadn’t this been my first thought, to simply ask the front desk staff?  I thanked them profusely and began to share what a blessing they both were.  They were a bit taken aback by my gratitude. 

“You are so kind,” the man said. 

I was baffled by this response and asked him, “are others not kind like this?” 

It seemed like common courtesy to me. His reply was striking to me. 

“No, others don’t even see us.  We are just a means to an end to them…a resource.  They take what they want from us without really ever looking at us.  They don’t even see us.” 

After this exchange, I found myself sitting down with the wife sharing a cup of coffee and expressing to her how much God loves her.  I could see her face so close up as she opened up to me about struggles she was having.  I didn’t specifically hear that part, but I could tell she was pouring out her heart.  As I looked at her, I was amazed that she had an abundance of freckles sprinkled all over her face.  On the show her skin didn’t appear to have a single freckle so this really stood out.   Additionally, my view of her face in that moment was magnified.

Dream Revelation

When I awakened from the dream I immediately knew God was teaching me something – wanting to speak something to me.  The word “kindness kept resurfacing in my mind and at the prompting of a friend I looked up the definition and from there decided to look into the definition of the word “see.”

As I studied the word 'see' I began to realize that it is truly a kindness to choose to 'see a person.' I couldn’t help but think of the many people I encounter throughout any given day and wondered how many missed opportunities I have had to make a person feel seen.Click To Tweet

I kept thinking about the dream over the course of several weeks.  That woman who sat in front of me had a story to tell.  In my dream as I talked to her,  I was sharing her value in God’s eyes and she was sharing her pain.

God was giving me eyes to see her beyond what is shown of her on a television screen…to see her in a very up close and personal way – the way He sees us.  He sees even what is hidden from us.  I was seeing her through His eyes; and what He was showing me was her pain, her fear and her weariness as well as the detailed view he has of every aspect of us, both external and internal.

God Cares About the Details

God doesn’t just look at us with a passing glace from a great distance, His gaze upon us is fixed upon us, gazing intently into our eyes, taking in every detail about us.  He doesn’t just see what can be seen by every outsider, He sees what we may have hidden from the rest of the world around us.  Even though we may be putting our best face forward, He sees what’s underneath the facade.

In the long season of my life prior to my turning point moment of surrender to the Lord, I had desperately wanted to be seen and known by God but at the same time, it had terrified me. The fear of His rejection had kept me from the intimacy I longed for.

Kindness breaks down the fear of rejection and makes others feel loved and accepted.  Jesus’s kindness to me had broken down my walls and healed my wounds of rejection.  In the weeks that followed I began to proactively work at seeing those around me and making them feel seen.

It was significant to see eyes light up and sometimes even tear up in moments of intentional perception and validation.

Feeling Seen

It stayed with me. How many people go through their entire day not feeling seen, let alone appreciated and celebrated? Click To Tweet

How many desperately want to be seen and acknowledged but at the same time desperately fear the rejection that might come with being truly seen by another?

The dream continues to linger in my mind and I was still pondering the details of the dream off and on when I stepped into the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. this past October.  Myself, my sister-in-law and my good friend had arrived in Washington to attend the Rise Up – The Call prayer event in the Washington Mall.  It’s unlike any hotel I’ve ever been in –  very unique…and very familiar.

Déjà Vu

When I walked into the hotel I immediately experienced a déjà vu feeling but it took me a minute to make the connection.  This was the hotel in my dream! The images played out in my dream finally began to make sense!  It wasn’t a hotel within a mall or airport like I had pondered!

This particular hotel was very unique because it had been the location of the offices of the U.S. Postal System.  The rooms of the hotel were once offices and were situated on multiple floors.  Yes, here were the metal trusses overhead just like the dream! The reception desks were in the same location as they were in my dream as well!  When I made it to my room several floors up, in the same corner of the building as my dream, my mind was buzzing and my heart was thumping with excitement.

During the entire trip I half expected to end up locked out of the room, but it didn’t happen.  Nor did I meet the couple from the home rennovation TV show.  I knew they wouldn’t be here.  They represented something or someone though, so I tried to keep my eyes open to see what God wanted to show me.

The Rise Up – The Call gathering was powerful and God spoke much to me that I have carried with me, but one of the most significant moments I had personally occurred at the very end of the trip when I experienced an encounter that I didn’t foresee.  I had called for the bellman to come get my bags.  As I swung open the door and was showing the gentleman my bags, I was also telling him how wonderful he and the other staff had made my stay.  I explained that I was pretty tired coming into the trip and that the hotel had been a perfect home away from home for me. I shared that the staff had all been a huge part of why I enjoyed the trip so much.

As I was speaking this, I was handing him a bag through the doorway and we looked straight into each other’s faces and made eye contact.  At that moment he said,

You are so kind. That means so much coming from you here in this place.” 

There it was.  Four words. “You are so kind.”  I felt an electric charge at that very the moment, an awareness that this was significant.

I looked him in the eye and said,

“I hope you know that you are seen and known by God, and that He loves you so much.”

He nodded his head eagerly and spoke earnestly.

“Yes, this is so true.  I can see that you are a messenger.  You are so kind.”

The whole conversation was over so fast, an exchange of words in midst of the exchange of my bags.  I was buzzing inside as I processed the conversation.  This man looked nothing like the man in my dream.  He was a different race, a different age, but his words…they were the words echoed in my dream, repeated to stress the significance of the act…just like my dream: “You are so kind.

The door closed and he carried my baggage away leaving me wondering how many times people have just unloaded their baggage on him and walked away without even seeing him.  How many times in my past might I have just gone through the motions with a person in front of me as they served me in some way, not taking the time to acknowledge that they are a unique individual, special and important to others.

I’ve always been polite but have I always taken the time to truly see, to make someone feel seen and for them to see Jesus looking out through my eyes into theirs?

How many of us feel unseen in a room surrounded by people, like our sole reason for even being noticed by anyone only comes through our usefulness? How many people just feel like a resource to meet needs instead of a celebrated individual?Click To Tweet

“Is this how I used to look at God and His precious son Jesus, my savior!? Were they just a resource to meet my needs?”

What does Jesus see when he looks at a person?  I believe he doesn’t just see a face but sees every detail of the person, including God’s plans and purposes.  He sees their innermost desires and dreams and longs to make that person feel seen and believed in.

We get to be messengers to deliver His message of presence through kindness!

Travelers in a Temporary Home

We’re really all just travelers in this world, in our temporary home away from home, just as that hotel is a temporary home.  As we travel we’re either the bellman or the guest.

We can lighten a load and we can see and express kindness to those before us.  It only takes a little more effort to look into the eyes of another and  choose to see.

Seeing another requires a bravery. Perhaps, we often choose not to see because we don’t know what to do with what we see. Perhaps our eyes are glazed over as we’re too busy focused inward instead of outward.Click To Tweet

Why would God give me a dream about a small moment in time weeks before it occurred? The only explanation is that seeing each other and expressing kindness to each other is very important to Him. 

When we do this we are seeing as He sees and manifesting His presence to the world around us.  That moment I had with the bellman was significant.  That place was significant.  That moment in that place was significant, because each and every person is significant to God.

Our Prayer


Father God,

Thank you for your kindness to me.  Help me to be kind in the same way as you are kind and to have eyes to see those before me as you see them. Lord, I’m asking that you give me eyes to see beyond the surface and to see the innermost parts of those you’ve called me to love.  Help me to encourage, uplift and display true kindness to those in my world – not overlooking those you have placed before me.

This life is not mine to live but a gift you have given me to steward.  Help me to steward it well and to represent you well.  I’m asking for your forgiveness for the times I have not shown kindness and the times I have closed my eyes to what you desire me to see.

Jesus, you are my example…the Word made flesh.  I am in you and you are in me.  Help me to see through your eyes and may your kind, loving eyes gaze into the eyes of those I cross paths with.

In your name I pray,
Amen

Definitions


kind:

  1. having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.
    “she was a good, kind woman”
    synonyms: kindly, good-natured, kindhearted, warmhearted, caring, affectionate, loving, warm; More

    considerate, helpful, thoughtful, obliging, unselfish, selfless, altruistic, good, attentive;
    compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, big-hearted, benevolent, benign, friendly, neighborly, hospitable, well meaning, public-spirited
    “she is such a kind and caring person”
    • (of a consumer product) gentle on (a part of the body).
      “look for rollers that are kind to hair”
    used in a polite request: “would you be kind enough to repeat what you said?

see:

transitive verb
1 a : to perceive by the eye
b : to perceive or detect as if by sight

2 a : to have experience of : undergo

  • see army service
b : to come to know : discover

c : to be the setting or time of

  • the last fifty years have seen a sweeping revolution in science – Barry Commoner

3 a : to form a mental picture of : visualize

  • can still see her as she was years ago
b : to perceive the meaning or importance of : understand

c : to be aware of : recognize

  • sees only our faults

d : to imagine as a possibility : suppose

  • couldn’t see him as a crook

4 a : examine, watch

  • want to see how she handles the problem
b (1) : read
(2) : to read of

c : to attend as a spectator

  • see a play

5 a : to take care of : provide for

  • had enough money to see us through

b : to make sure

  • see that order is kept
6 a : to regard as : judge

b : to prefer to have

  • I’ll see him hanged first
  • I’ll see you dead before I accept your terms

c : to find acceptable or attractive

  • can’t understand what he sees in her
7 a : to call on : visit

b (1) : to keep company with especially in courtship or dating

  • had been seeing each other for a year

(2) : to grant an interview to : receive

  • the president will see you now

8 : accompany, escort

  • see the guests to the door
9 : to meet (a bet) in poker or to equal the bet of (a player) : call
intransitive verb
1 a : to give or pay attention
b : to look about
2 a : to have the power of sight
b : to apprehend objects by sight
c : to perceive objects as if by sight
3 a : to grasp something mentally

b : to acknowledge or consider something being pointed out

  • see, I told you it would rain
4 : to make investigation or inquiry

Scriptures for Meditation


New International Version (NIV)

~ 1 Samuel 20:15

and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family–not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

~ 2 Samuel 2:6

May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.

~ 2 Samuel 9:1-4

Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

~ 2 Samuel 9:7

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

~ Isaiah 54:8

In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.

~ 2 Corinthians 6:6

in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;

~ Ephesians 2:7

in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

~ Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

~ Job 34:21

“His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step.

~ Psalm 139:16

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.