Little acts of love

Last night our family took a friend of ours to Cracker Barrel for his 30th birthday. Our friend is from Honduras and speaks broken English (though he’s getting better all the time). My Spanish is limited to what I’ve picked up by watching Dora the Explorer with “The Ladies”. We have a good time together. I probably amuse him with my lame attempts to speak Spanish. I’m such a gringo.

While we were ordering, I slipped our waitress a slip of paper that said, “My friend had a birthday. Let’s go crazy!” They did! After dinner they brought him some peach cobbler and sang a rousing and VERY loud “Happy Birthday!”

I watched my friend. His eyes were wide with multiple emotions ranging from fear to amazement. When they were done and left he looked down at his cobbler for a long time. I saw him biting his lip. I was biting mine too. So was Sherri.

We sat with tears in our eyes. Silent. Hesitant to talk for fear we start bawling.

After a few minutes my friend looked at me and said, “No one has ever sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.” He went on to say that this year even some of his closest family has not called and wished him a “Happy Birthday.” He said, “I will remember this day for 50 or 60 years.”

I have thought much about this experience. What is it about a little thing (an evening, a dinner, a song) that can make adults cry and create a memory that will never be forgotten?

Here’s what I’m thinking, we know we are to love one another. Often we look for the BIG ways to show our love, and because we can’t find or afford the BIG ways we put our love on hold. We live with the knowledge that we should… but we don’t. Consequently we live unfulfilled Christian lives.

MAYBE we should stop waiting for the BIG and start doing the little, and in doing so we may just find that LITTLE is big.

What LITTLE thing can you do for someone today to show them you love them?

Remember this, what may seem “little” to you may be HUGE to someone else! Go for it!

15 thoughts on “Little acts of love

  1. Paul, this is an amazing story. I know this might sound like one thing too many, but you need to write a book. Replant the church first, help it grow strong, and keep documenting your insights and experiences.

    The messages you deliver from the Universe need to be shared with more people. I will do my part right now and repost this blog on my site (as long as that’s OK with you), along with a link to you.

    Your friendship and positive energy shine through, my friend. I am proud to know you and call you brother.

    = ^ )


    1. Hey Joey!

      Thank you for your kind words. You are welcome to repost anything I write if you find it valuable.

      I too am pleased that we are friends. I appreciate the respectful dialogues and look forward to chatting with you on radio!

  2. Paul,
    How very touching, just reading about it brought tears to my eyes. It is so true that sometimes you have to step back and realize it is not always about the big things that you do but it is the small things that touch the heart.

  3. About 10 years ago I was a single mom with three teenagers. The kids took me to a Chinese Buffet for my Birthday…….To my surprize about 10 of the workers all came to the table to sing happy b-i-r-d-a-y to me and made a good effort at the English version.
    (If you have seen the scene in A Christmas Story where they sing at the restaruant you can image the song)
    The joy was in my kids faces—-man did we laugh!!!
    Good memories

    Oh by the way, I am with “babbo”
    I would buy the book!!

  4. dude, cracker barrel rocks! what a great place to celebrate a birthday. (i had to have mcdonald’s on the way to pick up my father-in-law at the bus station! we ate in the van 😦 monday was my 30th as well.) keep living life to the fullest! miss you guys!

    1. Hey Brenda!

      How are you?

      Sherri just spoke your name today in a very reverent tone! (she’s out of Mary Kay “stuff”).

      How is your spiritual journey coming along? Where are you going to church these days? How are Valerie and Donna?

  5. Amen Paul –it would be so great if more people had your insight and sensitivity..Praise God for people like you..

  6. Paul,
    Great stuff. Thanks for being friends with people and making them feel special. I wonder if Jesus sang happy birthday at Zacchaeus’ new birthday party?! I would have loved for the gospel writers to film some of the candid moments and give them to us.
    By the way, english/spanish/swahili I think you communicated clearly!

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