It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. No rain in more than a month, the crops were dying, and the cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone and this dry season would bankrupt several farmers before it was through.
One day while I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers, I saw my six-year-old son, David, walking toward a stand of trees. He wasn't walking with the usual youthful exuberance but with a resolute purpose. I could only see his back, but he was obviously walking with a great effort ... trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow, purposeful way toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour: walking carefully to the woods, running back to the house.
Curiosity finally got the better of me, and I crept out of the house and followed him (being very careful not to be seen...as he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mom checking up on him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked, being very careful not to spill the three or four tablespoons of water contained in his tiny cupped hands. I watched as he entered the stand of trees, as branches slapped his little face. He did not try to avoid them as he was focused on a much higher purpose. As I peered through the trees, I saw the most incredible scene.
Several large deer loomed in front of him, and David walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with large antlers was dangerously close but did not threaten him...he didn't even move as David knelt down. It was then I saw a tiny fawn lying on the ground; obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand. When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house, and I hid behind a tree.
I followed him back to the house to a spigot to which we had shut off to save water as David was given to playing in it. He opened it all the way up, and a small trickle crept out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup," as the sun beat down on his little back. It took almost ten minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him.
His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting," was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, other drops...and more drops still suddenly joined them. I looked up at the sky as it began to rain. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.
Some will probably say that this was all just a massive coincidence. Those miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that... I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm... just like the actions of one little boy saved another.
- Author Unknown
Small things with great love, and together we can do something wonderful has been attributed to Mother Teresa and I personally resonate with this story. A little boy, inspired by compassion, using his little boy gifts to take small amounts of water to a young deer in distress illustrates how the smallest gift, inspired by love can make a difference.
All of us have an assortment of gifts and talents but sometimes, like a region-wide drought, or overwhelming financial or health or..., the problems seem so overwhelming, and we are overcome with a sense of futility. So often, many of us resign ourselves to sitting on the sidelines of life letting it happen to us. Feeling sorry for ourselves.
I am convinced that love in any measure when offered freely to another, will always make a difference and often in ways that we do not anticipate. Our hero Davids seeming insignificant handfuls of water made a difference in the life of the fawn. But Davids actions inspired his mother to join in the effort and with that, his mother chose to share her resources; access to water and a different delivery method. David wasn’t trying to recruit others, he merely recognized a compassionate call and responded with the gifts he had, and it inspired another.
So it is with love. Love done for love's sake will catch the attention of others and release them into loving in some way. We experienced this in Taber where we ministered to the poor, addicted and those facing a variety of challenges. As we just offered whatever we had in the way of resources and relationship with saw a remarkable thing happen. Others began to step out, independent of our effort and reach out to folks in our community with their gifts.
Consider the Mother Teresa quote once again with a little more context. She said “What I do you cannot do, but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
Your small gift of love may just be the catalyst that inspires others, and together you can do something wonderful! You just might bring a little bit of new life to barren and parched situations!