If we work upon marble, it will perish.
If we work upon brass, time will efface it.
If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust.
But if we work upon men’s immortal minds,
if we imbue them with high principles,
with the just fear of God and love of their fellow men,
we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface,
which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.
These words were brought to my attention by At a Hen’s Place, in a post entitled Letters, Written on my Heart. She quotes Paul, speaking to the Corinthians: “Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.” At a Hen’s Place compares Paul’s ministry to the one God has given her with her children.
My children, “letters from Christ to a broken world — because of my ministry”? What an awe-inspiring thought. The concept of “the mother at home” seems almost a paralyzing undertaking, especially when I am well-aware of my own selfishness, my tendency to become frustrated with childish mistakes, my inclination toward imbalance and outright failure.
Struggling beyond the choking reality of this assignment, I can almost taste the sweetness that could be — I am transported in my mind to a moment in the future where I gaze upon God’s grace spinning full throttle in my grown children as they soar like sharp arrows to their destinies.
It is this picture of the future which encourages my next step for this moment, whether it be an apology to child I have snapped at, a few minutes of cuddling and listening, tea time over classic literature, sharing a prayer together, or taking time to play a “boy” board game. Realizing that the day-to-day, minute-by-minute “writing” I place on the hearts of my children will have everlasting consequences inspires me to go to God for His grace more often than I would if I thought this moment in time didn’t matter much in the scheme of eternity.
I am not capable of writing the words on my children’s hearts which I know should be written to produce letters from Christ to a broken world. Left to my own devices, I will write words of negativity and despair. Or, more often than not, I will leave blank pages where true beauty deserves to be penned. Yet He who has called me –He who has placed a living vibrant vision in my heart — will carry me and lead me.
Take my life, Lord! Rip it out of my grasp if You need to. I want to become the person You want me to be, and I am so utterly lacking! In You, I find comfort and inspiration and strength and hope for the future.
We know these children you have given us truly are “arrows in the hands of a warrior.” Thank you SO MUCH for a husband whose very name means “warrior,’ a husband whom you have endowed with the desire to fashion our arrows in such a way that You are glorified. He leads us well, Lord, yet we know we need Your leading above all else. May our arrows be swift and sharp and precise. May they be sent in Your power and for Your glory alone.