I have started to write scripture memory verses on my arms.
I started with 3×5 index cards. I would carry them around with me and pull them out at intervals whenever I was tempted to take a break on my phone. But some days my pants didn’t have pockets, so then I didn’t carry the card. Once or twice I lost it all together and had to rewrite the verse. Then, like most good intentions that have not yet become habit, I just stopped doing it.
Then, one day, I read a particularly poignant Psalm. On a whim, I wrote a short phrase on my arm to meditate on during the day. It smeared as I went about my tasks, but the comfort of seeing it there was enough to try repeating. I experimented the next day with a different pen, but the results were the same.
Then I came across these.
The first verse I wrote was the memory verse I had pinned to my bulletin board on my desk:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tried by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.I Peter 1:6-7, ESV
I typed about half of that from memory this morning. And while it didn’t make me a star student (I was pretty cranky and anxious all day), it kept my thoughts turning back to the LORD while I did my daily tasks. It kept me detached from my phone and social media. It gave me something uplifting to do when I sat down between chores to sip a quick cup of tea. While I washed dishes, I found myself slowing down over some of the portions, and realizing how words like “this” at the opening of the verses referred back to a wealth of theological import that I didn’t have readily accessible on my arm.
This morning I went back and read I Peter 1. “This” is this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.I Peter 1:3-5
“This” is mercy, living hope, resurrection, imperishable inheritance, heaven, God’s power, and completion of my salvation.
In Deuteronomy chapter six, Moses delivers a command from the LORD to teach God’s commandments to the coming generations. This is a command I am desperate to follow with my own sweet girls, in hopes that they too will desire to follow the LORD. In order to do this, I am to spread the LORD all through their lives. I am to talk about him when I sit and rise and walk and lie down. Kids can smell hypocrisy a mile away. So it’s no good all this talking unless first I love the LORD my God with all my heart, soul, and might. (Deut. 6:4)
My life should reek of Christ but with a sincerity that makes him beautiful, not oppressive. Love makes the lover lovely. How much more so when the object of that love is of supreme worth, above all things visible and invisible.
So I have begun to write these words on the doorpost that is my arm, so that they are constantly in front of my eyes when I sit and rise and rest and scrub dirty pans. Then maybe these words will then work their way deep into my mind where they can flow downward to shape my life until they are ultimately inscribed deep within my bone and marrow, written on my heart.