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September 2017

An ongoing series of informational entries

When We Need to See the Insignificant

By Laurie Nichols

September 1, 2017

Over the course of the past few months, my 3-year-old has continued to remind me of an injured ant we stumbled upon in late Spring. “Remember that ant that was hurt, mommy?” “Remember how it was walking funny?” In all honesty, I forget over and over until he reminds me afresh.


His sensitivity overwhelms me at time. And as I walked this morning, I thought of how like our God my son is. When we forget, He remembers. When the smallest detail eludes us, it has already been captured eternally in His mind. Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” His eye is on the sparrow, after all.


Too often, I am confronted with the fact that the details that are most important I forget. Within 10 minutes, I have forgotten the homeless woman I saw while driving. She was standing on the corner with her brown cardboard box that read, “Homeless. Anything will help.” Within 24 hours, I have forgotten to text my neighbor who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Within a week, my prayers for the woman I met in the store whose heart appeared ice cold had dried up.


I forget to remember. In sadness, I drop to my knees in thankfulness that our God never forgets those in need, those on the margins, those who appear so small and insignificant that the world may run just fine without them. Because in God’s economy, the world needs all the insignificance they bring.


For me, that ant was too insignificant to remember. But to my son, who knelt low to see the beauty of that broken creature, the ant is etched on his memory.

Can we be like this and model our Lord who loves so dearly? Can we bend low and see the beauty in those things—those people—that may appear insignificant but that need to be etched in our memory? I long to do this more, and I hope you do too.