It’s the small things that people notice.
The second you took to look in their eyes and smile, and notice that they exist in the world.
The minute that you took to show someone where the service was up to.
The two minutes you took to say “Good morning, how are you?” But actually stood there, in case they wanted to answer.
The ten minutes you took and hear about someone’s kids/spouse/pet/vacation/anything on their mind.
The twenty minutes it took to make a sheet with page numbers and put book marks on those pages for another person.
I think a lot about my job (or the job that I want). I think a lot about what the differences are between being a woman and being a man in this position. One thing I have noticed after this holiday season is the amount of time I spend with the congregants.
I am never leading service. I won’t be called up to do something unexpectedly. I don’t (yet) have children to run after. So, really I have no where else to go when services are being held. And so my job becomes calling out page numbers, showing page numbers, explaining what is happening in the service. I could never use a different prayer book, because I know that everyone is looking at mine to see where we are. Thankfully people have learned that I stand for more than they need to, because they look at me as to when to stand and where to sit. They listen to my voice as when to answer or say something out loud.
Sometimes I feel that my presence is worthless. I feel like all that I do is call out page numbers – that is all I am worth. But then I talk to people and they tell me how much that really tiny gesture allows them to follow for the first time. Or how much of an impact I have made on the community, and how the congregations looks to me as a guide.
I think it is hard to realize that the tiny, easy things we do are sometimes the greatest things we are doing.