Precious Memories, How They Linger

I first heard those words from the Woodsman quartet at my home church one Sunday evening. An all-male gospel quartet was big in those days, most churches had one, and ours was better than average. Bud sang bass notes that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Together they sang, and those words rang out through the Church auditorium at a special concert I was attending with my parents. Later, Alan Jackson would record the song, and it became a radio hit, but nothing can top the music from my youth by four men in matching red jackets.

At the time, I had little idea what they meant. I did not understand the pain of losing someone and how sweet it was to recall a moment you spent together. Precious memories are precisely what the title suggests. They are recollections of past moments that we hold dear because of the person to whom they were connected.

The problem with anything I find precious is that it may not be regarded as that to others. I first learned this with possessions. There were things I treasured, like an old fishing lure given to me by my father, that other people treated as common when I showed them. Similarly, my most treasured memories may seem like frequent everyday events to others, but they hold a special place in my mind.

Nothing I have said so far is surprising or challenging, but I always like to flip ideas over and seem them from a different angle. The things I see as ordinary, others may find as precious. The conversation I had as I was rushing to get home, might have meant little to me but was a blessing to the person with whom I spoke. That visit, meal, card, email, or even text may have been shared while busy, but it may be a touching moment to someone else. I think we need to be continually reminded that we have no idea the impact we are making for good.

I heard a preacher one time talk about the three most common things that Jesus did for people. He offered them a look, a word, and a touch. To people who were ignored, he looked at them with value. To confused people, he spoke a word of clarity. And to people who felt alone, he compassionately touched them. All of those are everyday acts that we might take for granted, but to someone else, they may be a precious memory of someone who cared.

So go into the week and offer the world kindness in the name of Jesus, you never know the difference it will make in someone’s life. They may treasure your time and it lingers with them for the rest of their life.

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