Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
My parents are cleaning out their house to prepare for a move to a retirement center. As my sister, Stephanie, and I help them divide up years of accumulated “stuff,” we have come across some treasures. I am thrilled to find anything that belonged to my grandmother, Florence, or my great-grandmother, Etta, about whom I wrote a novel called, The Sea Beneath Us. So far, I have taken fans and a silk shawl from Cuba, a quilt sampler created by Etta when she was sixteen, Florence’s engagement ring, and a long lost picture of an orchard that once hung in Grandma’s house. I used my memory of that painting to create a setting in the book. The scene of pink blossomed trees along a winding road will grace my own home, while I sent the college diploma and yearbooks of my grandfather, Woody, husband of Florence, to his alma mater, Alabama Polytechnic College, now known as Auburn University. We are also finding souvenirs of my paternal grandmother and grandfather, a mink stole, a red Chinese platter, crocheted lace, and a photograph of my grandfather, Brim, in a wide brim hat and high top shoes, taken when he was about three. Add to the collection my parents’ own photographs, books, art and furniture, and there is much to share with other family members. As much as I enjoy unearthing these souvenirs from the past, one thing tops them all. I found it among papers littering my dad’s desk. Written in my mom’s hand, it lists five “remedies” for depression. They are:
- Remember God’s blessings in the past.
- Realize that though God is silent, He is there.
- Look at God’s beautiful creation that proclaims His love.
- Realize that you can never drift away from God’s love.
- Expect God to act.
I do not know the author of this list, but I do know that my mom and dad both used this encouragement throughout their lives. The list lives on in my life as well. So many times, as parents, we want to protect our children from adversity. We try to shelter them from the bad things of this world. How much better it would be to recognize those hard times and teach our children how to live through them on faith? Those lessons will last much longer and be more valuable than any trinket we might save.