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Littleness.

I thought about it a couple of months ago as I lay in the hammock in the backyard in the dark, shivering but not really caring it was cold. The stars popped out like chill bumps, and my heart grabbed hold again of just how tiny it was.

And if we let it … that feeling of littleness can be a very good thing. 

For a while now, on a lot of nights, a few minutes before we turn the lights off at our little coffeehouse, I grab as many gallons of milk as I can carry at one time and restock the refrigerator out front under the espresso bar. It happens all day long, but that’s the last one, the one that’ll wait for the morning crew to wake the place up in a few hours.

I like to dream that eventually that tiny daily act of moving milk is going to add up and give me guns.

Over days and weeks and months, it’s a lot of dairy.

I read somewhere once that a certain major coffee chain goes through so much milk in a year that it would take several minutes for it all to go over Niagara Falls. It feels like our little store on the edge of the highway could help prop that statistic up.

We fly through milk. And coffee beans. And people. And before I know it I’m loading up the fridges and turning the lights off again.

Mass latte production can make a single cup feel super little.

But this morning, as I sat with a cup squeezed between my hands, I thought about that. And I was okay with the littleness.

This morning, littleness is good.

It’s funny how, with so much in our human world craving to be big, there’s a tiny but roaring desire tucked in our heart to be little, if we’ll listen.

I thought about it a couple of months ago as I lay in the hammock in the backyard in the dark, shivering but not really caring it was cold. The stars popped out like chill bumps, and my heart grabbed hold again of just how tiny it was.

One latte dumped in Niagara Falls.

That’s me.

With littleness comes a lot of frailty, a lot of weakness and inadequacy … and sometimes fear and trembling. With it sometimes comes things like fear of the future, lack of control, guilt over past mistakes, fear of messing things up.

And sometimes that’s all I can hear. I’m little. And there’s so much that I can’t do right, can’t control.

But last night as I threw the last few cups away and locked up the coffeehouse, I thought about how littleness can be the best thing we can ever feel, if we feel it like it’s meant to be felt. It’s the feeling we get when we stand on the edge of the ocean, or the Grand Canyon, or on top of a mountain, the feeling of being overwhelmed by something larger than ourselves.

We don’t want to feel big in that moment. We want to feel small. Because small doesn’t remind us that we’re weak … it reminds us that someone else is dramatically, wonderfully, amazingly bigger.

And that’s the reality we not only feel but crave. There’s something bigger. And we want to walk right into the middle of it, see it, know it, have it consume us.

It’s that feeling, that knowledge, that makes us want to throw our hands wide open, our arms spread out, face down on the altar of the God who loves us. It says I’m little, but You’re incredibly big … and that’s what I want – I want You.

It’s the kind of littleness we’re designed to feel, the kind that makes our hearts come alive, the kind that makes us strong with a strength that doesn’t come from us.

It’s the kind we get when we walk to the edge of who God is and tell Him we want our hearts to know His incredible magnitude, that we want to be smaller, but we want Him to be bigger.

It’s the kind that makes our lack of control the best thing for us. It takes us to the edge of Niagara Falls, to the edge of something greater.

And overwhelmed, we plunge.

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*****

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