We have the daunting, exhilarating privilege to live in a difficult, challenging era that is both confusing and clarifying. An essential skill for this moment is to be attentive to little things, such as our daily habits, while being mindful and attentive to big things, such as loving our neighbor. A gentle, almost imperceivable act of kindness can be a fulcrum for big change.
To a friend whose congregation is struggling with “theological” issues, I said, “These are difficult times, painful but clarifying.” For a community of faith or a political party in times of great confusion and division, the easy path is to think small and act big, as in Dobbs. The tougher path is to think big (as in human rights and inclusiveness) and take small, steady steps forward.
I’m encouraged by seemingly simple yet transformative steps, like the ancient faith community that cultivated “glad and generous hearts.” They discovered–in their own difficult, challenging era– the essential ingredient for great love: joyful generosity. That ingredient, and the great love that flows from it, is available to us today. Think big, be simple. Cultivate a glad and generous heart.