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Small Gestures, Big Impact

By Joey Havens

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Church service has just ended and I see our good friend, Andre, making his way out of the church. “Andre, can we give you a ride home today?” “Sure, Joey!” Today, we also have our next-door neighbor and family friend Jan attending church with us. Jan doesn’t know Andre, who is blind, and Jan is talkative so I’m thinking it should be an interesting and fun ride home.

I run to get the truck and pull around to the sidewalk and pick everyone up. Andre, using a cane as he talks with CeCe, guides himself from the church to the parking lot.

He opens the truck door, loads up and buckles up with no help from us. CeCe and I are unfazed by Andre’s independence but Jan is in awe and a little speechless which, believe me, is saying a lot, ha! (She also subscribes to this blog like CeCe so I’m sure I will hear more about this.)

As we settle in, I remember we had planned to take Jan to lunch today. “Andre, would you like to join us for lunch?” “Sure, I’d love to.”

At the restaurant, Jan has returned to her true form as she’s chatting away with Andre when he tells us today is his birthday! “Happy Birthday, Andre!” He is beaming a big smile and we are so excited and blessed to be sharing this special day with him. 

After a great birthday lunch together, we drop Andre off at his studio. He smiles as he shakes hands with his new friend, Jan, grabs his walking cane and exits the truck with no assistance, of course. I always stay until I see him safely inside his studio door and as I put the truck in drive, I thought, “Wow…what a blessing!”

We simply never know what is going on in people’s lives around us or how we can help make a difference in their day. Andre has only had lunch with us three times since I met him four years ago. What are the odds we would see him at church, invite him to lunch and it’s also his birthday? None of which we planned for. Jan has never gone to church with us before, so what are the odds on this special Sunday? We got lucky and were able to share a special day with friends. What if I was more intentional with small gestures? What if I looked for more opportunities to include and encourage others? 

One of the things we admire so much about Jan is she is very intentional with small gestures that can make your day. And Andre saw as we see, Jan’s sharing and fun-loving spirit. She is the person you meet and you have to like her. You can’t help it. (I tried.)

I guess I’m sharing this story because Andre and Jan both are blessings to CeCe and me. I’m always astounded at how God will use us if we just let him. My lesson today is to never assume that the smallest gestures will not have a big impact on others.