Do Something Small

Lou Lotz

READ : Matthew 25:31-46

Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. (v. 40)

I helped build three small houses under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity on Luzon Island in the Philippines for families who lost their homes in the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, in a spectacular pyrotechnic display. Lava flowed like iridescent cherry syrup down the mountainside. Fifty thousand homes were destroyed. A quarter of a million people were left homeless.

It is exciting to work, in Christ’s name, to help people have decent housing. But my enthusiasm was dampened as I began to think about the enormity of the problem, and how small was our response. Three small homes – a drop of water in an ocean of homelessness. But the Habitat for Humanity coordinator who worked with our group remained cheerful. She gave us a little rhyme: “Better to do something small than nothing at all.”

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention. The ministries in the parable of the last judgment are all small. A cup of water for someone who is thirsty. A meal for someone who is hungry. Hospitality for a stranger. Modest ministries, but what a difference they make. “Just as you did it to one of the least of these . . . you did it to me.”


Jesus, show me something small to do for you today.