A couple years ago I had the privilege in working at a Vet home in Denver as a Resident Staff Member. I worked graveyard shift, often writing residents up for coming in late, giving them breathalyzer tests and making sure they were sober when they entered the house. Some days I would ride my bike to work, which was about a two mile ride from the house. As the normal shifts began, some of the residents would come in and talk. We laughed, joked with each other, they shared some stories on how they got where they are now or how they use to be homeless. At the time we had one resident named Mike, a New York native who grew up in Brooklyn. Mike would come in with his east coast accent talking about the girl he can’t wait to see, or the red convertible Camaro he had in the garage outside. As the time for him to leave got closer, he mentioned one day that he had something to give me.
“It’s sorta like a memento…I want you to remember me.” He said.
So he left the office and came back with a black hefty bag full of articles and newspapers. Basically, all these papers from the New York Times that he had collected through the years while he was homeless in New York. Some of them were dated Sept 12, 2001 with the headline from 9/11. He gathered all these up and just gave them to me so I could remember him. That next morning is still a vivid picture in my mind, because not only did I have to ride with a 30Ib backpack full of newspapers, but I had to do it uphill. It was a long bike ride home, I think I ended up getting a flat that morning. But anyway, thinking about it now not only do I remember that day and the morning, but I remember Mike, just like he had asked. It worked, I hope you know Mike!
But yesterday as I was thinking about Jesus in the gospels, the images of my life came to mind. All of the blessings, the people that I’ve experienced, the different graces, God-moments, and then even all the madness and chaos. Everything that involves me being where I am today, is a work of God. In my mind, they are all great deeds that have been performed by God, they are in fact, His Mighty Deeds.
Of the many messages in the Old and New Testaments, one might be for us to remember the mighty deeds that God has performed in our lives. For the Israelites, God wanted them to remember how he had lead them out of the land of Slavery. In the Gospels, Jesus performs so many deeds, to reveal not only the Glory and Greatness of God but so that the people could repent and turn to Him.
I can just hear God, crying out to us, his people, begging us to remember Him and the deeds He has done for us.
…For us to take that with us on the journey that we travel uphill or downhill. Metaphorically it fits, that the black bag full of the deeds of God, blessings and battles should be placed on our shoulders and taken so that we could remember the very greatness of God in our lives. In those times of struggle, suffering or doubt. What we should do is pull out a newspaper, and think back on the many many ways God has been there for us, blessing us and providing everything that we need. “Think about such things” says St. Paul.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:8