Remember what Oskar Schindler did in rescuing Jews from the Holocaust? Against the millions who died, though, Schindler discounted what he was able to do. There were so few he could help to save.
When it comes to truly "little things," who is going to remember your kindness to an elderly lady whose name you don't even know? What will it matter if you visit a sick friend in the hospital? And what difference would it make for you to help with your church's Sunday School or youth camp?
There seems to be a prevailing view to the effect that only the big and splashy, noisy and expensive things matter. It just isn't so!
Richard Liggett has made coffins for the past couple of decades or more. They weren't expensive or ornate, mind you. He and a crew of men who worked with him built coffins from birch plywood, lined them with foam padding covered with fabric, and put brass handles on the side. A cross typically adorned the top. The total cost of each coffin was a modest $215.
Ruth Graham was buried in a coffin made by Liggitt. She died earlier this month at age 87, after a long illness. A matching coffin has already been made, purchased, and stored away for her husband — Evangelist Billy Graham.
In the press coverage around Mrs. Graham's death, her simple coffin became a story. When people asked about the unusually simple and unadorned casket in which her body had been placed, the name of Richard Liggett became public. And I'm sure there would have been a rush to interview him about the project, if he were still alive. He died of cancer in March of this year.
Liggett died an inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He was 31 years into a life sentence for second-degree murder. Christ found and claimed him there, and he spent his final years not only building caskets, but sharing the gospel with fellow-inmates. The Grahams' son, Franklin, saw Liggett's work on a visit to Louisiana's penitentiary at Angola and was struck by its simple beauty.
Before he died, he said the most profound thing he ever did was to build coffins for Ruth and Billy Graham. Who says "little things" don't matter? Seldom get noticed? Don't make a difference? So why should you shrink back from a less-than-spectacular chance to do something kind or holy or encouraging?
[Jesus said] "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is known to be my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly be rewarded" (Matthew 10:42 TNIV).