“This is for you, LaLa!” My grand-sweet, Macey, held out her fingers to lay a stone in my hand. It was a small tan-colored stone. Nothing remarkable about it. But she is remarkable. Her sweet smile, petite hand, twinkling eyes…and more, her tender heart just makes mine melt. To this day, that stone sits on my kitchen windowsill. I see it every day. And every time it takes me right back to one of my favorite memories. Just her and I…on the porch steps…together. I remember how much I love her and how precious she is to me.
There are several other stones on the ledge in my kitchen. One from my trip to La Union Abajo in the Dominican Republic reminding me of how precious the people of the village are, of how much I want them to not have to struggle to eat or have clean drinking water, to be safely off the streets, and how I long for each one to know Jesus. Each day I look at that Dominican stone and feel a bit of a hole in my heart because I left a part of mine there. And I pray for them.
Sometimes reminders aren’t tangible things. I have a few memorial stones in the shape of a song. Sometimes we call it the right song at the right time. The lyrics break through the clutter and chaos of a thousand numbing anxiety producing voices to speak one singular message that is a direct hit to our mind and heart with a message of hope. Undeniably reminding us that God is with us…and that His presence brings us peace.
The morning after we heard the diagnosis that my husband, Ken, had stage 3 cancer, I started my car to go to work and I heard these words in a song on my radio ~ “I’m not gonna fear the storm. You are greater than it’s roar. Oh, I’m not gonna fear the storm. I’m not gonna fear at all. Peace be still…even when my eyes can’t see. I will trust the voice that speaks. Peace. Peace over me.” And, instantly, I knew peace. Intimate, fully immersing peace that only comes when we know our Father God and know that we are known by Him. To this day, whenever I hear Hope Darst sing “Peace Be Still” I am transported back to that morning, that experience of God’s presence, and I remember His faithfulness to never leave us.
Whether its a stone, maybe a photograph or a right song at the right time, it’s important to set reminders for ourselves of those times when we felt deeply the impact of a single moment or an answered prayer. Because sometimes life gets hard. The cacophony of voices threaten to drown out that still, small voice that resonates deep in our soul. We need a reminder that it won’t always be this way. That there is hope. It’s not the thing; the stone, or picture, or even the song…its the reminder of how it made us feel in that moment…when we knew we were loved. And we are still.