Miniature Kindness

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop

My grandma has always been obsessed with miniatures. When we were little girls she would transform empty lipstick tubes into lamps with lampshades for our Barbies. She had a personal collection too. Whether homemade or purchased, she curated a wall curio shadow box full of miniatures with a “scene” in each square – a little skunk, my Poppy working in the garden, a tiny flock of sheep…

I’ve been thinking about my grandma’s miniature collection recently.

First, one of my students was very excited to receive his missing library books notice, cut out the tiny images of the book covers, and glue them onto another paper that was folded to look like a tiny book. He soon had his own tiny library!

Then, a friend shared with me her passion for creating the miniature sets for her Youtube channel. She uses recycled materials to create a whole world of stories and learning for her daughter’s dolls. I can’t wait to see her next video!

Why do we find miniatures so fascinating and wonderful? Mental Floss wrote an article answering that question with science, but what about seemingly small actions? Why do they have such an effect?

Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages) writes, “Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving. That kind of love requires effort and discipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person…”

I’ve been on the receiving end of some small acts of kindness lately for which I am so grateful:

A Gift – We have secret pals at work where everyone is assigned someone to secretly encourage with small acts of kindness. I discovered a bag of chocolates on my desk from my secret pal this week and it was absolutely delightful! The surprise, the thought of an unknown colleague picking out a candy for me and sneaking it into my classroom, and of course, the chocolate truly did encourage me!

Extra Time – Grocery shopping and very much in the shopping-zone, the father of a little girl I babysat came over to say hello. He could have gone along shopping, but he came over when he saw me. How nice to finally run into someone I know at Walmart! I’m not a stranger in this land anymore!

Special Touch – Sitting on the couch working on school work next to my husband and out-of-the-blue he leans over to give me a kiss. A special treat!

Affirming Words – One evening I received a text from a colleague saying that they are thankful for all I do at school. They didn’t have to send that, but the small sentence encourages me still, many days later.

This week while reading Matthew, I was struck by a small thing that Jesus chose to do on his way to the cross. The soldiers offered him a drink mixed with myrrh which was supposed to be like a pain-killer. Jesus refused it. That would be difficult to do knowing the pain he was going to endure. But, in this way, he could be present and clear-headed. “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering…He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). This seemingly small decision to skip the pain medication, contributed to Jesus thinking of you and me in those moments with great love instead of a foggy brain. After, He conquered death. Now He offers us eternal life.

Maybe your miniature kindness today is to admit you have disobeyed God, believe that Jesus Christ can save you from the separation from God that disobedience results in, and receive the grace of God into your life through the Holy Spirit. Ooh what a relief! What a joy!
Maybe your miniature kindness is to encourage someone else. Be looking for those miniature opportunities! We were made to love and be loved!


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