One of my favorite parts of teaching was reading my student's journals. I'd give them a prompt, What would you do with fifty dollars?, and then delight in their answers.
I'd find that Jenna would use fifty bucks to buy "a casel and a hors". Reading their writing revealed their skill and knowledge level. It also opened up the well inside their heart.
I loved getting a glimpse into what was important to them. I can clearly see my oldest (Hayden's) journal page one day when asked about what he would do over the weekend in his second grade class. He drew a pretty impressive jet cruising the globe. He still has an interest in geography and has an incredible knowledge of, and passion about, current world events.
We write down what's important to us...things that matter...the things we don't want to forget.
In our earlier years we might have scrawled Kristi loves Jason on our biology notebook. Now birthdays and appointments go on our calendars. We shoot a Hope your test goes well! text to a loved one.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that God saw to it that we have a whole book declaring we matter, but I landed on a particular verse while reading a Psalm that prompted me to grab my pen and start underlining. It's worth gaining our attention.
In Psalm 56, in response to having been a fugitive, David, passes along words I believe we would all do good to remember when we're overcome with sadness or pain or hopelessness or fear...
David cried out to God,
Record my misery;
List my tears on your scroll-
Are they not in your record? Psalm 56:8
A friend called me up yesterday right in the middle of her busyness. She'd known that I'd been struggling with some anxiety. She also knew I was carrying some sorrow for loved ones. As I shared my burden for suffering family members she had me wait while she searched for a notebook and a pen. And then she did something that was truly a balm for my tender soul.
She wrote down the names of those I was hurting for, and every concern that went alongside the corresponding name.
She was recording my misery; writing down my worries; the important, heavy things weighing down my heart. And just like when I tell my daughter to help me remember an orthodontist appointment she has on Thursday (because it's a sort of weight sharing), my dear friend lightened my heart because she took my concerns upon herself. Like those things we write down that we deem important, she wrote my sorrows down...
One chapter before David makes mention of the list of tears our God keeps on a scroll, he beckons us to wisdom.
Cast your cares upon the LORD and he will sustain you... Psalm 55:22
How good is a God who cares enough to make record of our deepest pains and puts friends in our lives who will do the same?