"Keep me in your prayers,” my friend requested.
She’s going through a difficult period, and, of course, I’ll hold her
in my prayers. I have just one follow-up request: “Do you have a photo
of yourself that you could give me?” The question surprises some folks,
but my response usually intrigues them. I keep a scrapbook with
pictures of the people I pray for. I call it “scrapping my prayers.”
page from Debra Farrington’s scrapbook holds photos of her husband,
Marley, and stepson Christian. As she looks at their photos every day,
she keeps both in her prayers—and her heart.|
images long have been powerful tools for personal and corporate prayer.
A cross at the front of the sanctuary or in a prominent spot in our
homes reminds us of who and whose we are. The colors with which we
drape the sanctuary clue us in to the cycle of the church year.
Stripping the altar on Good Friday is often a more powerful experience
of loss than any words can induce. Those who come from the Orthodox
tradition remind us of the power of icons in focusing prayer and
meditation. Many of my friends keep either the traditional or more
contemporary icons scattered around their homes to remind them of
Visual images also help me do something
that words don’t, which is to let go of what I fondly call my “God-do”
list. It’s just like the “honey-do” lists we have for our loved ones.
If I were in charge of the world, I’d give God a list of things to
accomplish each morning and expect to see each completed item crossed
off by day’s end.
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