As the pastor’s wife of a rural congregation, I sometimes wonder, Am I making any kind of positive difference in the world? Do the cards I send, the prayers I pray and the smiles I share help anyone in the long run?

I sometimes feel discouraged when I think of all the needs in the world and how little I do to help meet them. My small cheques to The Salvation Army and my donations to thrift stores seem too little.

It’s not applause I crave. But I’d love to think I helped someone know God better or gain hope for his or her future because of something I did or said.

Worth the Time
This morning I opened my cupboard and reached for a ramekin. I use the word “ramekin” loosely to mean any small, colourful container, not simply a cooking dish. I’ve collected these pretty little bowls for more than 30 years. I use them in a thousand different ways for everything from holding a snack to straining a tea bag. My family knows that if someone needs a dipping bowl for raw veggies or a container to hold a few candies, I’ll grab a ramekin. I rarely serve a meal without using one or more. They brighten the table. And my heart.

I found my latest additions, hand-painted ramekins from Turkey, in the corner boutique of an outdoor mall on a dreary, wet day. The salesperson warned me that these beautiful wee treasures should be hand-washed, never put in the dishwasher.

“No problem,” I said. “The joy they bring me will be worth the time it takes to wash them. Tiny little dishes like this make me happy.”

God Is Love
That’s when it hit me.

Just like my ramekins, I can serve others in a thousand little, colourful ways to make a huge difference in my world.

Sharing myself and my faith with others through little acts of kindness—giving a compliment to a harried clerk, telling a toddler’s mom that she’s doing a great job, smiling at a downcast stranger—can make someone’s day.

It all comes down to love, I realized, and a Bible quote came to mind: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Aha, I thought. I don’t need to make a big splash to change my world. God can use my every little act of kindness.

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