What small pleasure has marked your day?

By: Bill Johnson

Our community of faith has recently lain to rest a remarkable woman of our city and a noble saint of this church:  Dr. Nancy Howard.  Nancy touched many lives along the way in her years of service as an educator, administrator, minister, colleague, friend, and fellow pilgrim on the Way.

The title of this blog is a question she often asked others.  I want to believe it grew out of how she viewed life and how she went about her daily living.

In a world full of empty superlatives, unrealistic expectations, and life-bending hurry to get to the next demand or commitment of our exhausting schedules, this simple and unpretentious question merits our pause and reflection.

Small pleasure is a quiet treasure worth holding in your mind and heart.  Though often not seen, they abound at every turn.  But they do require us to pay attention, to be present in the moment, to be open to goodness and mercy, to have eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts willing to know, hands ready to embrace.  Small pleasure is a charming couple of two pedestrian yet profound words.

To be sure, many things mark our day, and often not for the better.  To foster and engage the discipline of seeking out small pleasures along the way is a transforming and redemptive manner of living our journey.

In the wee hours of the Saturday morning of Nancy’s memorial service, I stumbled into our guest bedroom, opened the blinds, and took in the stunningly beautiful late harvest moon sitting in the unusual position of the northwest sky.  And my silent prayer was “small pleasure”.  Thanks be to God, and thank you, Nancy.  Amen.