Today a woman handed me twenty dollars.
I have not found it. Believe me, I have dug deeper into myself this winter than I ever have before, laying bare lies, sins, and confusions I used to refuse to admit.
It is a lonely road, even among friends. Winter has this loneliness that invades my bones, even when it is sparkling among children, whispering among pines, dancing among breaths. Spring sometimes seems the most absurd impossibility imaginable. So does hope.
It takes the generosity of one woman, who handed me twenty dollars so that others might be able to abandon worry, so that the young people could have snacks and stay up all night, even if they don’t have three dollars to spare. In some ways, her generosity may seem small, but oh, it is always the small.
It is the small that carries us through everyday—small graces and gifts and brave.
It is the small that breaks my heart for what it needs to be broken for.
In looking for an entirely different quote, I stumbled upon this one. It tells my own tale better than I can:
“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
The woman who handed me twenty dollars showed me that one small kindness, one small brave, can be enough for Him to take us to far greater ways and places than we would ever have found on our own.