Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The Jews have a number of ancient observances that many still hold to. After many centuries, they still cling to rites passed down from their ancestors. One of these observances is the mezuzah, a way to provide a daily reminder of who they belong to and where they have come from. The mezuzah is a box that contains a parchment scroll inscribed on one side with Biblical passages and on the other side with the word Shaddai (God). Often these boxes are hung from the doorpost of the home to provide a regular reminder as the homeowners come and go throughout the day.

In our western culture, the notion of a mezuzah might bring to mind the picture of Orthodox Jewish men who wear phylacteries (or prayer boxes) on their heads. These prayer boxes are used for the same purpose, namely, to remind the Jews of their God in a way that should impact how they live and how they interact with others. While I certainly don't have prayer boxes attached to my door post or to my body, I do have reminders that cause me to pause, to reflect, and to pray. My mezuzah's include:
  • A crumpled Post-it note in the bottom of my lunch box to remind me to say grace with my lunch. The note is long since rendered unreadable, but it serves its purpose.
  • A framed picture of my daughter that sits on my fireplace mantel.
  • My Our Daily Bread booklet that reminds me to spend some devotional time each morning.
  • A plaque that sits in my gardening shed showing praying hands with the reminder to spend time on my knees before God.
  • A small spiral bound notebook that sits on my desk. I use it daily to keep track of people that I want to remember to pray for.
I should note that the inspiration for this piece came from a section in Mark Batterson's new book If. I will be posting a review shortly.