Today I heard that he had hoped to "make a dent in the universe" - and I have been drawn in by that concept. He wanted to make an impression, to do something that made some noticeable impact. It is something all of us should want in life. And as I reflected on that I was reminded of a presentation last Sunday at the Newton church by the youth group and its leaders. Last summer they went to Detroit for a week, and did a variety of tasks to help out some of the many deeply poor people that make up Detroit's population. I can remember asking one youngster after he had returned this summer what he had done in Detroit - "mostly garden" had been his response...which I had found a bit puzzling. On Sunday we saw "before" and "after" slides of a number of homes where they'd been - employing weed whackers to "cut" the overgrown lawns. They told of being joined by neighbors when they say the kids out there working - brining over their own tools, or even lawn mowers to mow the residual grass once the foot plus tall grasses had been reduced.
Near the end of the presentation someone mentioned that given the rampant poverty and the many needs there, it felt as though they had been only a small bandaid on a deep wound. I raised my hand and proposed that we did not want to leave with this image, that indeed the fact that the youth were there and working had inspired others to show their own caring for their neighbor, and that this was not a matter of a bandaid; it was God at work. They made a dent in Detroit. I hope I am making my own special dent in the world, and trust that you are as well. May it be so.