When we got married, we painted wooden shapes and glued magnets on the back as our wedding favors. On the tables at the reception were glass bowls with floating candles in them, which people got to take home (although we still have a stash of them if anyone wants one who didn't get one :-) At our wedding shower, everyone got to take home a cute birdhouse favor.
When we go to family members' houses or even to friends' houses, we often see the aforementioned favors - magnets on the fridge, vases and birdhouses on shelves. Pieces of our lives - the most special moments, in particular - exist in our loved ones' homes. Now we hear from friends and relatives that the photo of Kevin that we emailed to everyone has been printed on various forms of paper from various types of printers and hung up for all to see. Although I have photos of friends and family on our walls and refrigerator, I am still surprised to hear how many people have hung Kevin's picture in their homes. My cousin put Kevin's picture low on the refrigerator so that her son can get used to seeing him so that they can be friends (well, cousins :-) when he arrives. My in-laws' in-laws have hung up his picture as a reminder to keep him in their prayers.
The idea that we exist in the homes of other people is so huge to me. Maybe it's just because I like to feel included. Maybe it's because we all like to feel included. Maybe it's because this is what Jesus meant when he talked about sharing our lives in community and fellowship. I may not be physically present in my friends' homes on a daily basis, but pieces of me linger there, and I am remembered. I never considered that people who have sent me photos of their children that I've hung on the refrigerator might feel this way. What a blessing it is to experience life entwined within the lives of others as one body.