Memorizing brings an opportunity to witness and comfort.
“Have you seen my keys?”
“Mom, where did my Avenger guys go?”
Most of the time I can easily answer the questions I get like this. The scary part is that I can usually guide my kids or husband to what they’re looking for from another room or while I’m in the middle of another task. Call it talent. Call it having a great memory. I like to think of myself as a keeper of random information.
While I pick things up around the house, my brain just seems to hold on to information. Perhaps I know I’ll need it later. As unimportant and useless as it seems, this catalog of random information has come in handy pretty often.
Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I memorized Bible passages, hymns, commandments, and creeds when I was young. You name it, I memorized it. I used to think all that memory work was over the top. I viewed it as something I had to do to get a good grade and then I could just let that information go. It didn’t seem all that important at the time.
About a year into my marketing career, I discovered just how rare it was to be a keeper of random information. I was in a meeting, going over some graphics with some colleagues. The model in the photo had a tattoo on his arm peeking out from under the featured shirt. Everyone was trying to figure out what the full tattoo might say. When I saw the image, the tattoo immediately became clear from the few words that were visible.
“Oh, it says, ‘ “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,’ ” I said, nonchalantly.
I looked up and saw that my coworkers were staring at me like I had two heads. They didn’t understand how I could possibly know that. When I explained that it was from Jeremiah 29:11, an often-quoted Bible passage, it did little to quell their amazement or curiosity.
It’s one of those passages that I was assigned to memorize a good handful of times. It turned out that holding on to that “random information” was actually pretty meaningful. It was a moment for me to witness to my coworkers and a moment that made me appreciate my upbringing.
As a kid, the passages I memorized were little more than homework to me, but the message of the gospel became so much more than memory work as I grew older. As the people I love went through everything from breakups to sickness to coping with loss, being a keeper of random information has been part of my calling as a friend and sister in faith. Recalling passages that can bring comfort and peace to a friend in need is such a huge blessing.
As helpful as remembering where my son’s favorite toy can be found or as useful as knowing where my husband left his keys, it can never compare to keeping God’s Word near and dear and ready to share. Perhaps you didn’t grow up memorizing Bible passages. Maybe you did, and you’re a bit out of practice. Whether your favorite Bible passages of comfort and hope are newfound words of inspiration or a message that’s all too familiar, be the “keeper” of those words. Take them to heart all over again and commit them to memory. You never know when the occasion will arise for you to share them.
Author: Ashley Evans
Volume 108, Number 1
Issue: January 2021