The verse, carved into a handmade wooden tray, gives him strength and comfort on tough days.
Being away from our families for work, illness, separation or other life circumstances is always difficult, and for actor Chris Pratt, who’s always on the road filming movies and making appearances, this is no exception. But the 39-year-old Christian and father has a simple life hack that helps him deal with homesickness, and maybe it can help you, too.
Pratt, in a photo he posted on Instagram, reveals a handmade religious gift, given to him by his older brother, Cully. In the caption, Pratt explained that Cully, who hand makes valet trays, is an Army veteran and sheriff’s deputy. He goes on to call him “a real hero … who loves to make something out of nothing with his bare hands.”
The gift, which Pratt refers to as a “pocket dump tray,” is apparently a type of item that Cully crafts regularly as a hobby. Pratt explains, “We all need a place to throw our wallets, keys, cell-phones, lighters, pistols or whatever else [you] keep in your pocket so you know exactly where it is the next day.”
When Cully decided to make one for his younger brother, he asked what type of design he’d like on it. Pratt initially requested a patriotic theme, but then realized he’d prefer to have something more comforting to bring along while working away from home. “So I [thought] about this great Bible verse Philippians 4:13 which I’ve relied on for strength from time to time.” Pratt says he reads it when he is “homesick in need of comfort.”
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So my brother, @cullypratt makes these awesome pocket dump trays. We all need a place to throw our wallets, keys, cell-phones, lighters, pistols or whatever else we keep in your pocket so you know exactly where it is the next day. Well he wanted to make me one and asked me what I wanted on it. I went for the usual chris answer, American bald eagle smoking a cigar, holding a machine gun and an American flag whirling all bad ass in the wind maybe with some nunchucks or something. But then I thought a lot about being homesick. I'd like having a touchstone that I could take with me as I travel on the road for work. Something less straight up bad ass hero and more homesick in need of comfort. So I though about this great bible verse Philippians 4:13 which I've relied on for strength from time to time. And he knocks this thing out in like a day!! Reclaimed wood and a wood burner. All by hand. He does all kinds of awesome art stuff and in proud of him. He's so awesome and you should follow him. He's a unique individual and my best friend. An army veteran and a sheriffs deputy who has seen a lot of shit in his life but gets up everyday to go to work and help people having bad days cause he's a real hero. A hero who loves to make something out of nothing with his bare hands. He's very good and when we were kids he used to make me smell his finger and I always fell for it and I wore his clothes and worshiped him and I still do to this day. Thanks to my big brother from the same mother for my awesome #cullypepper dump tray. It's my favorite thing I have.
The result is a beautifully carved image of Christ beside the verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.” So many of us feel pangs to be with our loved ones when we’re called far away from home. One can imagine how seeing this verse brings Pratt back to his faith, and reminds him to endure when he feels vulnerable or tired. And each time he looks at his brother’s handiwork, the tray must also remind Pratt of his familial and filial love.
And that’s part of the beauty of this little Instagram post: How, even having achieved such phenomenal fame and success, Chris Pratt still knows that faith and family are his foundation.