Last week as I was unpacking the Christmas boxes to decorate our home for the season, I came across an item that caused a sudden feeling of gratitude to rush through me.
It was a cutout of an elf holding a list that was carefully colored and filled up with my son’s Christmas wishes in his own kindergarten handwriting, and it was laminated by his teacher.
Yep, I was overwhelmed by gratitude for lamination and the teacher who so lovingly preserved this memory for me!
How did she know that a busy young mom of three kids might be too distracted to hold on to such a thing properly? Her gesture was in effect saying, “Pay attention to this! Some day you will treasure it, and I have protected it for you from fingerprints, accidental damage and most importantly from fading with age and from your memory.”
Now, I will admit that with a daughter graduating from high school soon and her brothers both in middle school, nostalgia has reached a feverish pitch in my heart lately. But this little lamination epiphany got me thinking — what other things have been so carefully preserved for me for which I should also be thankful?
How about the freedoms we enjoy in our country for which men and women honor with their military service?
How about the scriptures, which I have the privilege to read and know that our God is the same yesterday, today and forever?
How about our church history book where the testimonies of our older brothers and sisters inspire and remind me what a great heritage we have in the gospel regardless of our ethnicity?
And what am I doing, like my son’s wise teacher, to preserve resources for others?
A few years back, our presiding elder asked members of our branch to recall their conversion to Christ and write down their testimonies. Once a month, he emailed one to our congregation. What a blessing! I learned things I did not know about my brothers and sisters who I worship with every week and couldn’t wait to read each new one unveiled. At the end of the year, what a collective keepsake we had assembled!
When I was younger, our branch threw a celebration for members celebrating 50 or more years serving God. The young people were each assigned to interview a brother or sister and write down their testimonies, which were compiled and distributed for that event. All of those saints are gone now, but their words and examples live on. Are we still encouraging interactions like this between the generations to teach the busy and distracted young to “Pay attention to this! Someday you will treasure it…”?
For my dad’s 75th birthday, all his grandchildren drew pictures and wrote him letters detailing their favorite memories with him. Recently, I heard him refer to something he read, and I suspect he treasures that gift more than any socks, ties, or gift cards he received over the years.
What should we laminate and keep in our hearts on a continual basis? I can’t help but think that when the communion cup is passed to me every week, and we are reminded “This do in remembrance of me,” the fact that His grace saved one as unworthy as me is the greatest thing I could ever laminate!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.