I still have that?
I’m wearing a cross today that I don’t often wear. It’s pictured in this post. It’s not that I don’t like it – I do – it’s just that I don’t often think to wear it.
I had a gold chain in my hand this morning, and I was rummaging though my jewelry box, looking for a pendant to hang from it, when I ran across this cross. Every time I see it, my thought is, “I still have that?”
Many years ago (many, many, many) when I was a member of the youth group at our church, we went on a summer tour, singing our way across the United States, from West Virginia to Texas. We spent a week in El Paso, teaching what I would call a vacation Bible school for young children, some of who were children of illegal immigrants. We had a free evening, so our pastor and youth leaders took us to Ciadad Jaurez – the town right across the boarder in Mexico. We spent the day shopping and walking around, then had dinner (a very hot chicken dish!) and went to a dog race.
Come on, J and M, can’t I convince you to take the youth out of the country, into Mexico, to a dog race? As we were getting ready to cross the boarder, our pastor, Jerry Wood, told us that if any of us smarted off to the boarder patrol as they came on the bus, we would be left at the check point until hours later, when Jerry would return with the rest of us to pick up the miscreant. It’s a wonder we all lived to tell the tale.
Anyway, while shopping, I bought that cross. The chain is long gone, but somehow I’ve been able to keep the cross for – good grief – almost 25 years.
Are we ever like that? Do we ever have an awful day – a day where we are so far away from God that we can’t feel his presence at all? Then, at some unexpected moment, his presence is felt, and we wonder, “I still have God in my life? How is it that he has hung around through this awful day?”
I think that may be one of the uses of a physical reminder of God as we walk through our day. I mentioned before that I was given a set of prayer beads at the beginning of the year. So far, since I’ve received them, they gone with me, in my pocket, to every meeting at church, every class I’ve taught. A reminder. A reminder to pray; a reminder that God walks with me; a reminder that other people are praying for me; and a reminder of whose I am, and why I’m at that meeting or teaching that class. We wander so far away sometimes that a physical “touchstone” can be a blessed assurance that God isn’t lost, and neither are we.