I was riding through a residential area that I don’t have occasion to visit often when I noticed a small cross on the side of a house. I thought to myself, what a nice idea! Of course, I don’t know the reason for its being there, but it could be a pleasant little reminder to say a prayer before you go out in the car on an errand, or to pray in thanksgiving at your safe return.
In these days of carefulness about sanitizing, I often go to my kitchen sink as soon as I return from an outing and wash my hands. I grab the plastic bottle of dish detergent, give it a squeeze, and wash for the recommended 20 seconds. Lots of times I will notice some tiny bubbles that come out of the bottle along with the liquid soap; they float in the air all around me for a second or two. Each bubble, self-contained, silently reflecting the sunlight, gently glides through the air. They remind me of the numerous little blessings I take for granted each day of my life. My hands function, I have clean running water, I can smell the lemony fragrance, I can sanitize even though I have happily received my two doses of virus vaccine. Sure, those are small things, but they should not be overlooked.
People are easily reminded of bad events in their lives—a scar on their skin reminds them of an accident; a dent in the car brings to mind the time someone backed into them; a doctor’s bill evokes a recent illness that was not completely covered by insurance. We all encounter such reminders, but we have to try to keep a balance by also noticing the good reminders in our everyday life.
I belong to a church prayer line. We have five teams, and the head of each team passes on the prayer intentions from the rotating two members who receive the initial phone calls from parishioners. I have a little notebook in which I write the intentions I receive, so during my prayer times I can consult the list. There is no way I would remember them all! Sometimes, I often hear people on television say to someone that has experienced a tragedy, “You are in our thoughts and prayers.” I hope it’s true, but I wonder how long they remember and pray after they say that stock phrase. Little notebooks certainly come in handy.
The very popular Bible verse, John 3:16, reminds that God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son. There are a great number of other good biblical reminders that we could jot down or commit to memory. I will just list a few of my not-too-lengthy and easy-to-memorize favorites:
Psalm 86:15 can help me to be slow to losing my patience in a given situation.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Psalm 136:26 is a good reminder to be thankful because we are loved so much.
O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
If we are needing hope and feeling weak spiritually, remember Romans 5:8:
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
And, as many of us are feeling anxious during the pandemic, recall 1 Peter 5:6-7:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
The scripture passages are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.