Then I thought, rather than hide his flowers because he can't make a lot of money off of them or become famous, he was giving them for whatever blessing they could be to the recipients. I realized: "Wow, this is how much of the good is done in the world-not in some world-changing action that divides history, like Jesus' death and resurrection, but also in the daily, year-after-year, hardly noticed, acts of love people do!" I was overwhelmed thinking of all the good that Phil has accomplished bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece through years of giving beauty to his friends. The cards symbolized many acts of kindness, integrity, service, confessions, and thoughtful conversations with his friends. As we talked, I learned that he was studying a book, Irresistible Influence, to learn how to better love the people he knows.
None of us will change the world by some heroic act or stunning teaching, like Jesus, but-like most of his original followers: farmers, carpenters, barbers, homemakers, bakers, tax collectors, soldiers-we many, we happy many, incrementally change the world of the people around us with good and beauty, and that is a great good.
Her full nature . . . spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. . . . the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. (Dorthea in Middlemarch by George Elliot) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Paul, Galatians 6:10). . . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Jesus, Matthew 5:16).
While praying recently, it struck me that almost all of our friends are doing all the good they know how to do. I was overwhelmed with the beauty and preciousness of that. I would name all your names, all you Georges and Joans and Toms and Marys and Dorises and Ruths and . . . and . . . but I cannot because the list is too long-plus, I would weep.