I'm finding more and more in my life just the inherent value of having Icons in our home, especially at our Bible Study at our Baptist (or Babb-tist) Church- which sadly is as predictable as I might have suspected (which is not to say by any stretch that God can't use it). My wife and I are surrounded by a bunch of loving people who we don't have too much in common with any more, though often curiously the needs are the same- as I found last night.
We were trying to talk of how we could find ways to keep the Lord and His love for us foremost in our minds, how we could grab hold of some truth and keep it present in our minds- and on that I built on something that a brave gentleman brought forward with repetition of even a simple phrase or verse. I simply put out in his support that indeed, not all repetition is "vain"- the bugbear of evengelicals (well one anyway), and surprisingly it was received well- I didn't get a chance to say "what I like to say is the Jesus Prayer", but maybe next week...
Anyhow then the conversation went to how can we remind ourselves to think on these things- and perhaps not surprisingly to Orthodox the method most affirmed was posting a visual reminder somewhere, which of course is a bit clumsy for us protestants. Ideas as ephemeral as putting a book somewhere, leaving a Bible verse somewhere, posting a phrase- etc; I had to just sit back and shake my head. Everyday I walk past perhaps the perfect visual "reminders" when I walk past my Icons. How can I not look at Jesus, Theotokos, John Chrysostom, and others and immediately and clearly at the very least think of God and His love, grace, and mercy. It's an instant communion almost at an instinctual level that bypasses my weak intellect and goes right to my soul.
How many at that Bible study would've been ready for that? (I'd have lost my prot license for sure ;-)