1 Corinthians 1:4
Most people think of canning when you mention a mason jar. Other respectable southerners can only think of ice at the bottom with sweet tea swirling around in the glass jar. For me, I think of prayer.
Ok, so a mason jar and prayer? What is the connection?
Years ago I started a simple tradition. I wrote names on small pieces of paper and placed them in the jar. Over the years, the notebook paper has evolved into beautiful curled and colorful stationary. They may be scraps, but the paper transforms the jar from a storage item, to one of significance. Although this jar may sit on the shelf in my closet, it is important to have it's own beauty.
Inside, the names are of those that I have met in my life. Not just friends, but also those of the people that were rude, hateful, and at times just down right mean. There are names of family, friends, and people I have worked with. Names of doctors, neighbors, teachers. Every person I have encountered in my life has a piece of paper representing them in this jar. But why?
Each morning as I get dressed, I pull a name out of that jar. I stop and say a prayer for that person. I pray that God will bless them, will help them prosper, and that he will heal them ~ physically, mentally, and emotionally. I also pray that if that person has passed, unbeknownst to me, that God would allow them to know how much they affected my life and if it was negative, that I had forgiven them.
Something so simple, yet it creates a heart of gratitude. It takes me out of the mode of asking of God for me, and instead, bringing someone else to the feet of his throne. It also frees me from feelings that I might have unintentionally harbored against someone.
Okay, so this might sound like a therapy exercise, but it isn't. It is biblical. We are to pray for others. We are to have compassion, to serve them, and to help our friends and neighbors as God would help us. Stopping my morning routine for a mere two minutes doesn't sound like much, but to me, it is obedience.
I pray that if you are inspired to create your own jar, perhaps my name will be on one of those pieces of paper. Paper, a mason jar.....obedience.