Precepts & Life Preservers

Faith & The Big D

Purpose In The Small

Summer Blog Series "Stay Connected"... Purpose In The Small

His name was Cyril Grant.

And when I think about today’s topic for our Stay Connected Summer Blog Series, he suddenly came to mind.

He embodied what it meant to have purpose in the small things.

And he did it all with a weekly bag of candy.

I was ten years old when I met Mr.Grant. As our church kids program streamed out of the gym every Wednesday night, the river of children would veer off to the right with one purpose. To find our beloved Mr.Grant.

To be spoken to by name, to be asked about life that week, and to have the giant bag of candy offered over to reaching and excited hands.

An older gentleman in the truest sense, he had a quirky English accent, a delight to listen to, and he was planted at the back door with the parents. Dressed impeccably, always in his tweed jacket, shoes shined, pants creased just so, and a ready smile.

He was probably one of my first living examples of purpose-driven living being about giving, kindness, and personal investment, how it didn’t have to look like flash and pomp and fireworks.

He had purpose in the small. His place and reason for being was at that church every Wednesday and Sunday.

You got to take one candy, and only one. You got to select carefully as you plunged your hand into the bag, and only after your parents approval.

But you received so much more.

I think now about how that quick minute with clamouring children was his chance to build up each kid. He spoke quietly, you stopped being loud to listen him, and if you were shy, he spoke even softer.

He knew every child’s name. Every. Child.

People, we are not a small church.

He knew what Bible verse you had to learn that week. He knew when you had been away. He asked about school like he truly wanted to know.

And we got to see what ‘Jesus with skin on’ looked like.

For many of us it might have been the first or only time.

We showed him scraped knees that got a clap of his hands for being brave (and maybe an extra chocolate covered mint).

We brought him our report cards.

We loved to bring him a new joke, drawing, project.

And I know now the massive impact a weekly bit of candy accomplished.

His purpose in that one small thing meant we were seen.

His purpose in that one small thing meant we were seen. Click To Tweet

Right up to the day he passed away, he knew my name, and my kid’s names. He would stop in the pew and ask how our week was. He would offer a candy out of a small baggie and a wink.

It felt as wonderful as any holy blessing.

So for those of us today wondering if our small matters. Wondering if our ordinary can ever be a legacy, have impact, touch lives, have significance through the Father.

It always matters. When your purpose even in the small is propelled by a big heart for Him, it matters more than you can know.

When your purpose even in the small is propelled by a big heart for Him, it matters! Click To Tweet

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4

In His hands, nothing is wasted. Don’t allow doubt or confidence to keep you from staying connected to your God-given purpose.

He is a God of details, truly, and there is always purpose for you in the small.

What small thing have you been challenged to let God use for others this summer?


  1. Christine, this had me tear up remembering several sweet older people who peppered my childhoold with this sort of small, quick attention in a most sorely needed way. What a sweet testimony and lesson. Thank you.

    • Christine Duncan

      July 27, 2017 at 10:22 AM

      Aw, so glad you were touched by this today… when I think of the sweet saints that are woven into my fabric of growing up, I have to lift thanks as well!

  2. Christine, thanks for sharing this; it’s a great reminder that even the little matters and certainly spoke to me. I’ve heard a lot about this man in my years at the Church, he clearly left his mark on many lives.

  3. What a beautiful story! How amazing that with a small resource like a weekly bag of candy, God can do miracles when our hearts are set to love others!

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