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Mark as unread

Faith & Inspiration

How are y’all doing in the 21st century? Here in a suburb of Philadelphia I’m finding it challenging. I just went through my email and marked three messages “Unread,” a feature of my email service I was delighted to stumble upon a few years ago that has not necessarily done me any favors. I will only have to revisit the inconvenient letters later. I once heard it said, “Never pick up the same paper twice,” and thought it was brilliant counsel, though a person I shared the tip with looked at me like I was some kind of bloodless robot. I still think it’s good advice. Is there something wrong with me?

I guess I signed up for Twitter somewhere along the line during the Kermit Gosnell trial, hoping to get a scoop on breaking developments. My blanket apologies to all the people who pop up at random times in my email box saying they follow me. I have never posted one comment. I don’t even know if “posted” is the right terminology.

Though an introvert, I seem to know a lot of people I have told I will pray for. This particular dilemma seems best handled by praying with the person right on the spot when she asks, rather than making promises. In addition, I carry in my pocket a dog-eared, folded list of names as I walk in the cemetery—an activity I dropped for a few seasons due to marriage but that I have picked up again due to weight gain.

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Jesus …

 “… helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God …” (Hebrews 2:16-17).

Also …

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

I cannot tell you how to solve the time crunch thing, but I am glad that Jesus knows and sympathizes.It is important to believe that when He says we can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16), He will indeed help us with this modern problem.

But I note that even in the old days—the supposedly more relaxed and less frenetic days—we see Paul the apostle writing to the Thessalonians and saying he mentions them in prayer (1 Thessalonians 1:2). A mention to God, when you happen to think of someone, is better than nothing at all. In fact, it takes a lot less time and may be lots more fruitful than getting back to my “Mark as Unread” email file.

Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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