When we think of reaching out to help others, sometimes we think that means we have to do something big or remarkable or grand. We may think that little acts of helping don’t matter because, well, they’re so little.
That isn’t true.
Small, seeming unnoticed acts are more important than the big impressive ones that everyone sees. Small acts of help can be done by anyone at any time and in any place whereas the big acts take time and effort and wherewithal, which not everyone has.
Here are a few poems to remind us that the small, simple acts can—and do—make a big difference:
It was only a sunny smile,
And little it cost in the giving;
But it scattered the night
Like morning light,
And made the day worth living.
Through life’s dull warp a woof it wove,
In shining colors of light and love,
And the angels smiled as they watched above,
Yet little it cost in giving.
It was only a kindly word,
And a word that was lightly spoken;
Yet not in vain,
For it stilled the pain
Of a heart that was nearly broken.
It strengthened a fate beset by fears
And groping blindly through mists of tears
For light to brighten the coming years,
Although it was lightly spoken.
It was only a helping hand,
And it seemed of little availing;
But its clasps were warm,
And it saved from harm
A brother whose strength was failing.
Its touch was tender as angels’ wings,
But it rolled the stone from the hidden springs,
And pointed the way to higher things,
Though it seemed of little availing.
A smile, a word, a touch,
And each is easily given;
Yet one may win
A soul from sin
Or smooth the way to heaven.
A smile may lighten a falling heart,
A word may soften pain’s keenest smart,
A touch may lead us from sin apart—
How easily each is given!
It was only a blossom,
Just the merest bit of bloom,
But it brought a glimpse of summer
To the little darkened room.
It was only a glad “good morning,”
As she passed along the way;
But it spread the morning’s glory
Over the livelong day.
Only a song; but the music,
Though simply pure and sweet,
Brought back to better pathways
The reckless roving feet.
“Only,” in our blind wisdom,
How dare we say at all?
Since the ages alone can tell us
Which is the great or small.
WHEN YOU DO AN ACT
You can never tell when you do an act
Just what the result will be;
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
Though its harvest you may not see.
Each kindly act is an acorn dropped
In God’s productive soil;
Though you may not know, yet the tree shall grow
And shelter the brows that toil.
Fill your day with a smile for passersby, a kind word for loved ones, encouragement for friends. You never know whose life is at a pivotal moment. Your small, seemingly insignificant act of help can make all the difference to that person.
Your Friend and Pep Pal,