Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 5:16, this little light of mine, the light of the world, the glory of God, memories, the power of memory, ham sandwiches, school uniforms, country Queensland, boarding in Brisbane, Queensland ’

Jo 17Our memories are amazing, don’t you think? They are like huge filing cabinets in the recesses of our brains, with drawers that seem to go on forever. As one memory emerges, another can follow closely on its heels. And, when we least expect it, something may trigger a vivid image from far-off times that can surprise and even overwhelm us.

Recently, a high school friend came to stay and to accompany me to a writers’ conference. It was like old times, we decided, as we shared a room at the conference venue—more than fifty years after we had first done so at a camp as teenagers!  Over our time together, I was amazed at the little things she remembered from our high school years. Her parents lived in country Queensland and we met up when she was boarding with relatives in Brisbane.

‘I remember when your mother lent me your sister’s navy skirt to wear to school,’ she told me. ‘I was horrified when I realised mine was miles away back home, but your mother was so kind about it. And the skirt fitted perfectly too!’

I could not recall this event, but was touched to hear how my mother’s kindness had impacted my friend so deeply that the memory had remained with her down through the years. She had not wanted to be embarrassed as a teenager by having to wear something other than the complete school uniform prescribed—and my mother had saved her from that fate.

‘I remember too the ham sandwiches your mother made for us to eat on the train home to my parents,’ my friend went on. ‘We couldn’t afford ham— that was a luxury!’

Again, a memory I had definitely forgotten, no doubt because I took ham sandwiches for granted. But I had memories of my own from that trip home to my friend’s family. I remember the lovely experience of being part of a large family of seven children for a week and of living in a country manse next door to a church. But, above all, I remember something that happened one morning—and every morning after that. I remember how that family gathered together around the breakfast table and how, before they went about their day, they dropped to their knees beside their chairs and prayed for all sorts of people. On the first day, I was shocked—I couldn’t work out what was happening, but I followed suit. And that image is now etched in my brain—an image that speaks so strongly of the importance of faithfulness in prayer.

The little things we do can impact others—and vice versa. Yes, we may remember the hurtful moments—and those barbs can stay with us for years. But let’s celebrate all those lovely memories we have too. And let’s remember that, in this present moment, as we go about our daily lives, we have the opportunity to impact others with God’s love and to bring glory and honour to God in all we do.

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. … In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 NLT

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