Little Hands, Big Hearts

Posted on Posted in Faith, Family

The other day, God sent me a reminder about the man He plans for me to be.  I was home with the girls while Mama was at the grocery store gathering up supplies for holiday cooking.  I was at the table with our 1 year-old helping her finish eating.  Over in the kitchen I heard our 5 year-old dragging her tall stool that she uses to get things for herself.  Next thing I knew she was at the kitchen sink washing some dishes that we hadn’t been able to fit into the dish washer.  I didn’t ask her to wash the dishes, she was free to do what she wanted after finishing dinner.  The kindness of her heart melted mine.  Without saying a word she started helping with the work that needed to be done.  I always have a camera handy, so I grabbed a quick photo of our daughter, clad in her favorite zebra jammies, washing dishes.

young girl washing dishes
Little hands with a big heart can do amazing things!

This was a great reminder of the good things that God has planned for me (and all mankind) to do (Ephesians 2:10).  Several times in the gospels, Jesus tells his disciples to be like children – pure, innocent, loving.  In Mark 10, some children are brought to our Lord that He might bless them.  His disciples, thinking this task was below Jesus, rebuked the people who brought the children to be blessed by Jesus.  The English Standard Version of the Bible says that Jesus was indignant that His disciples would turn the children away from Him.  He then says, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

I believe children are God’s gift to remind us everyday that we should be more focused on loving and helping each other.  Our older daughter loves nothing more than to help fold laundry, cook with us, put silverware away…whatever she can do to help.  Sometimes it takes extra effort to have her help, but we appreciate her helpful attitude and good spirit, and take the extra time to nurture that BIG heart that God created in her.  She has little hands and a BIG heart that wants nothing more than to love and help…and be loved.

As proud as I am of our daughter when she does good things, I believe God must be even prouder of His children when they do good things.  In comparison to God, who spoke the world into existence, we are childlike at best.  We are called to use our little hands and our big hearts to help a world that so often is filled with need and pain.

For me, this begins at home.  I need to use the work of my hands, the words of my mouth and the kindness of my heart to lift up my wife and help her as she strives to live the life of a Godly woman.  With prayer, daily choices and my example I need to teach my girls about the God that I love.  Fathers especially need to live a life that is an example for their children.

Once things are in place at home, it is time to minister to others.  A minister who neglects his own family has missed the point of what it means to be a righteous servant of God.  Most times, ministering to people doesn’t involve having the right words.  More often than not, people just need someone who is willing to listen, hold their hand, or sometimes just wash their dishes.

I know that my daughter didn’t know what a blessing she was to me with her simple actions, much in the same way we may never know what a blessing we were to someone else along the way.  As this year wraps up, I encourage you to think about those who have helped you along the way.  Perhaps you can figure out some simple way to let them know that you appreciate the love they have shown to you through their simple actions.

I’ll conclude with 3 quick things:

  • Consider studying the gospel account of ‘the good Samaritan.’  You can find it in Luke 18:25-37.  If you have kids, this would be a great time to sit down and study the Bible together.  Note how the passage starts, some doubters of Christ were trying to bring Him down.  Notice how He is always able to re-frame their challenges and turn it into a lesson.
  • I am working on a set of weekly Bible studies for families in January.  The title is the same as this post, “Little Hands, Big Hearts.”  It will be some simple studies to do with young families, encouraging our young children to use their big hearts.
  • One of my favorite magazines is Seeing the Everyday magazine.  It is kind of pricey, but that is because there are no ads in the magazine.  The pages are filled with beautiful photos and stories of families learning about love through work and shared responsibility.

And finally a quick reminder for my daughter about her love for washing dishes:

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God bless you!