A few months ago the Shuttle program was grounded for several weeks due to cracks in the fuel line. We are reminded about the tiny rubber o-ring about three-tenths of an inch wide. To look at a tiny o-ring that small would not impress anyone. And yet over twenty-years ago two of those rings were placed in the aft field joint of the Solid Rocket Booster to stop gases from escaping. Whether it was the unusually cold weather, a contaminate introduced into the zinc putty used on them, any number of potential compression problems, or human error during manufacturing, these two miniature o-rings failed to do what they were designed to do, and the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded before the watching world, 73 seconds into her flight, claiming the lives of all seven crew members.
It’s the little things. Tiny viruses the size of a pin head, heart valves no larger than a man’s thumbnail, single votes in an election, an ill-chosen word from a loved one – little things have tremendous power. Matthew 13 records the story Jesus told about the smallest thing His audience could identify with–a mustard seed. We should not underestimate the impact of little events.
Sometimes it takes just a little bit of patience to work with people. Sometimes it takes just a little bit of love to redeem a situation. Sometimes it takes just a little bit of grace to bring about healing. Sometimes it takes just a little bit of understanding to save a marriage.