Once upon a time there was a tiny, little, itty bitty, very small, tiny little god named Tiny. She lived her life hearing stories of all the big gods and, well, let’s face it, she was jealous. She knew she needed to think of some kind of special spark of an idea that would make her existence meaningful.
After watching humans for a long time, she hit upon something that just might work, something to make people think, yeah, that Tiny has really got a good idea going. This was it! This was going to make her famous! Ready? Here it is: “You Are Not Alone!”
She took the form of a very light breeze, and in a voice so quiet each person heard it only in their mind, she said, “You are not alone . . .you are not alone.”
People loved it. It was perfect because who doesn’t want to hear that?
Pretty soon Tiny was comforting people all over with “You are not alone.” Every evening she took the form of the breeze and whispered it in people’s minds.
Until one day, she encountered someone who wasn’t comforted at all. When Miriam heard Tiny’s words in her mind, instead of feeling comforted, she felt... agitated. Something was just kind of off about it. She kept saying it to herself over and over again: “You are not alone, you are not alone.” She tossed and turned. She couldn’t sleep!
In the morning, she went to read the paper, and instead of skimming everything she found herself drinking in every single story. She was only halfway through when she found herself crying. “I am not alone,” she said. “I am . . .connected . . .to every one of these people. They live in my town and my country and my world. They love their children like I love mine. They’re scared sometimes and so am I. They hurt like I hurt. I am not alone. I can help.”
Tiny was surprised. It hadn’t occurred to her that someone might think of it that way.
Tiny kept watch over Miriam to monitor this interesting development. Miriam and a coworker met online in a meeting and talked about a law they hoped the Senate would pass, and Tiny noticed when Miriam wrote a letter to her senator about it right away.
She noticed that when Miriam turned in her grocery order, she bought a few extra things for her neighbor and left them, with a colorful note, on their porch.
She noticed that Miriam had tears in her eyes when she joined in her congregation's worship on her computer and she heard her favorite hymn through the small speakers. Miriam got out her phone and made an extra donation to her congregation.
She watched as Miriam wrote postcards to friends and family near and far, waved to the dog walkers who passed by her house, and strung up colorful lights in her living room window.
But most importantly for Tiny, she noticed when Miriam received a phone call one evening from a friend she hadn’t heard from in a long while. His voice was shaking. “I’m having a hard time,” he said. He started to tell her about his troubles, but he began to cry.
Miriam got herself comfortable in her favorite chair. “Take your time. I’ll stay on the line with you. You are not alone. I am here.”
“I am here.” Tiny heard those words like an echo in her mind, “You are not alone. I am here. You are not alone. I am here.” [ask congregation to repeat back, “You are not alone. I am here.”] In that moment, Tiny knew that she was nothing without Miriam’s hands and heart and spirit. And she knew that what she wanted—what the world needed more than anything—was what Miriam had learned to give.
So Tiny went to work. Instead of just spending her evenings spreading the gospel of “You are not alone,” she spent her nighttimes doing it too, and her mornings and afternoons. Pretty soon she was spending every moment doing it, until she became the breeze itself.
And that is why there are no paintings of Tiny. No busts or holy books. Just a breeze, a low voice, and many, many helping hands, loving hearts, and caring spirits.
You can hear the echo, if you listen closely [congregation repeats]: “You are not alone. I am here.” When water bottles are left in the desert for those who risk their lives to cross it: “You are not alone. I am here.” At the bedside of a dying man: “You are not alone. I am here.” In the jailhouse and the sanctuary: “You are not alone. I am here.” Separate and together: “You are not alone. I am here.”
May it be so.
This story is published in Sparks of Wonder by Becky Brooks and Erika Hewitt.