I’ve thought a lot about the words expressed by my college friend in the midst of his pain. When interviewed by a television reporter at Harding University’s memorial for his son, Ty Osman shared, “He didn’t cure cancer or do anything great or huge, he was just kind.” The kindness of young Ty Osman II seemed to reach more people in his brief span on this earth than many do in an extended lifetime. The tributes from Ty’s friends began pouring onto social media sites immediately after the news of his tragic death. There was a common thread – Ty made people feel special. He was proud to be a part of his family and loved spending time with them. He was loyal and uplifting to his closest friends, encouraging them to be the best they could be. He was inclusive and friendly to those who felt lonely, rejected and excluded – he shared smiles and remembered their names. Ty seemed to be an unintended teacher as both young and old expressed learning from him. By his desire to develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus, Ty inspired others to follow his example of daily, intimate time with Jesus. His family continued that legacy by donating hundreds of copies of Ty’s favorite devotional book, Jesus Calling.
I doubt young Ty ever thought his life was incredibly impactful, but we have witnessed the ripple effects. Whether you knew Ty or not, follow his lead. He was stepping in the path of Godly parents who walk behind their Savior Jesus Christ. He had grown to choose that path on his own instead of being instructed to stay on course. The Osman’s learned from Jesus how to value people, no matter what their station in life may be, or what people could do for them in return.
Most of us will never cure cancer or do things great or huge, but we can all bring a cure to a disease that plagues our society, rejection and loneliness. Take some time today to make someone feel special. Don’t worry if you get a positive response or expression of gratitude. Forgive someone who has hurt you and show them what undeserved, unconditional love looks like. As small as acts of kindness may seem, the ripple effects bring cures, they are great – huge!