Confession #126: A Blessing’s a Blessing No Matter How Small
Last Sunday at church, somewhere between the second wave of announcements and the sermon, a woman came forward to share with the congregation. Her child (around age 3) had been sick for the past week. Diarrhea. Fever. Stomach pain. The standard here in Haiti. Very animated like, she spoke about how she took her child to the doctor where she received medicine. Now, one week later, her child stood beside her sucking on a bottle full of milk, healthy as could be. Almost in tears she raised her hands and sang praises to God.
Once we got home Hunter looked to me and asked, “So what did you think of that testimony?”
“What do you mean?” I replied. “Did I miss something?”
“Well,” Hunter said, “Her kid had diarrhea for a few days and she went to the doctor and got some medicine. Now her kid is better. It’s not that big of a deal. Kids get diarrhea all the time. Did she really need to get up in front of everyone to cry and sing about it?”
We sat at our table for a minute both silently assessing the former testimony and both feeling slightly guilty for questioning the worthiness of it.
I broke the silence.
“I guess to the mom, her child getting sick (even if with a minor illness) and getting better was a miracle. To her, the medicine was a blessing. To her, God was caring for daughter. Maybe we are the ones in the wrong because we are sitting here questioning it. Maybe we don’t give God enough credit when we have a headache and can heal it with a couple Tylenol or our kid has a cough and we can heal it with some cough syrup. Maybe we should raise our hands and praise God every time He blesses us with healing too…even when the healing seems small and mundane.”
“I think we just expect to be healed of the small things,” Hunter said after a few minutes.
* * * * *
What a luxury.
This is what I have thought about all week.
What a luxury it is that I expect to be blessed. What luxury and a curse.
It’s a luxury that I have always had my small things provided and a curse because in the abundance I have too often failed to see God.
It’s a luxury that God has blessed me so many times in my life and a curse that I often give myself the credit.
It’s a luxury that I expect God to bless me and a curse that I get angry when He doesn’t.
* * * * *
Living in Haiti, among such poverty, you’d think I’d have the hang of this by now. You’d think I would better notice the small things and the Giver who stands behind them. One would think.
One of Hunter’s favorite things to do for me is to find me special treats downtown- things we crave from America but can never find down here. This past week alone he found a Diet Coke, Salt and Vinegar chips, a Kit Kat bar, Doritos, and a large bell pepper. (Which one of these is not like the other?) Every time he brings me a special treat I get super excited- way more than a 28 year woman should honestly get about such things. However, these “small” treats feel enormous to me. They bring me joy. They keep me going. And they remind me that I am thought of and loved by my husband. Back in America, I wouldn’t have even noticed if Hunter brought me home a candy bar. But here, now, I long for the candy bar and praise Hunter when He blesses me with one.
I guess it is the same for the woman at our church. In a country where quality medical care is scarce and medicines are more than the average day’s wages, being healed of any sickness, big or small, is noticed. The “small” healing feel enormous. They bring joy and keep you going. And most importantly, they remind you that you are remembered and you are being cared for by the ultimate Healer.
* * * * *
A blessing is a blessing no matter how small. This week I am asking God to reveal the small things to me. Every. Single. Thing. May I learn from this dear Haitian mother that small blessings are in fact big blessings when they come from God.