This past weekend, I spoke at a large church in Milwaukee. There was a service on Saturday night, and three on Sunday morning.
I showed up Saturday afternoon and set up the book table, and did a sound check and a practice run-through of my talk. Then, the stage manager took me backstage to meet the pastor who was going to be introducing me.
He was at least 6’2”, and my hand disappeared in his large one when we shook hands. His first words to me were, “You’re so little!”
His comment about my small physical stature made me laugh. “That’s what Abraham Lincoln said to Harriet Beecher Stowe (the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) when he met her,” I said. “Lincoln said, ‘Here’s the little woman who started the big war.’”
“Please don’t start a war here,” the pastor said, with a look of dread in his eyes.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “If I start a war, it’ll be the good kind.”
In my message, I spoke about Children in the Margins. I explained that 6 million children in the developing world lost their lives in 2015, mostly from preventable causes. Which means we lost as many children last year as we lost Jews in the Holocaust.
It is unconscionable that while we are amusing, eating and entertaining ourselves to death, these kids are losing their lives because they don’t have access to simple things like safe drinking water, food and medicine.
I invited people to sponsor a child with Compassion International. For $38 a month, you can sponsor a child in the developing world. These sponsored kids get to go to a center where there is clean water, nutritious food and after-school tutoring. There are adults who love on these kids and invest in them emotionally and spiritually.
(Also, I did the math. If you switch from buying an espresso drink at a coffee shop every day and get a plain coffee instead, that small substitution alone would be enough to sponsor 2 kids with Compassion!)
These kids get to grow up to be men and women of integrity who raise their own countries out of poverty….and they get to survive their childhood.
Compassion was hoping that we’d get 120 kids sponsored. They sent 30 extra packets “just in case.” Well……the congregation was on fire this weekend! They sponsored all 150 kids and asked that more packets be sent for this coming weekend because there are still so many people who want to sponsor a child.
Also, people bought 200 copies of The Invisible Girls and ordered another 100.
As I thought about the weekend and all the good these people did — sponsoring kids with Compassion, and purchasing copies of The Invisible Girls to help send these Somali refugee girls to college — I thought about the pastor’s words.
“You’re so little!”
I thought about the amazing things God does with little things.
God cares about little people — people like me with soft voices and small stature. God cares about little children, whose suffering often goes unnoticed by the rest of the world. God cares about sparrows, the small birds whose deaths are witnessed by God. God receives the widow’s last mite with love.
“You’re so little!”
I still laugh when I think about those words.
Yes, I may be little. Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I have a soft voice.
But God’s power shows up in little things — and he wages a war of love that saves people’s lives, and changes the world.