This morning, I was remembering a certain Sunday long ago when I was young, sitting in Church and feeling quite alone. The priest that day ended his sermon with these words from Isaiah 49:15 . . . "See, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand."

The image, those words conveyed, gave me such comfort . . . and continues to stay with me throughout my life, especially through difficult times . . . reminding me always of God's faithful love.

It was my Dad who made that image so real for me . . . that day sitting at the kitchen table. He was tired, working three jobs to support his brood of five, all alone, after my mom had left. Dad was an optimist, tomorrow would always be a better day. We were alone together that particular morning. My brothers and sisters were still asleep. I remember asking him if he wished we were rich. He smiled with affection and touched my cheek. Then he took out his worn brown leather wallet and wanted to show me how rich he really was.

Out came five folded little papers he'd kept safe through the years, one small note of affection from each one of us and he let me read them. Dad was all teary eyed and said something like . . . "See, these are my jewels . . . you kids. I'm the richest man on earth." I knew then, that in his own simple way, my Father had carved us in the palm of his hand.

Moments of love, shared at a kitchen table, little notes of affection saved close to the heart . . . small, but present remnants we have each passed on to our own children, in hopes that they will never feel alone, so that even when we're gone . . . . they'll remember how much they were loved.