“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
I’ve never considered this before, but today I’m realizing that one of the qualities that sets mankind apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to remember. I know that animals remember to some level – clearly our pets remember us and sometimes prove that after weeks or months of separation. Animals return to their homes and follow familiar patterns, but I wonder how much of that is ‘instinct’ and how much is true remembering?
Today I find myself remembering both those dear to me who have died and those whose lost lives reflect a sacrifice for me. When I remember the ones that I’ve known intimately I actually can ‘re-member’ them, calling to mind their features, voices, character and the idiosyncrasies that gave them their unique humanity. When I remember the broader group of those who died in battles fought in my stead, I remember human courage and honor and devotion – a dedication to an ideal that underpins the life I enjoy today. I also remember the loss, agony and grief of the families that waited for the return of these loved ones. In all of this I remember the God of my fathers and the God of my life today. This remembering is another mark of humanity – that we remember God before we see Him with our eyes. That remembering God is over and under and through the physical memories of our lives.
The good life I enjoy today is built on a foundation of many well-lived and honorably died lives that are past. For this I am thankful. For this I thank God.
“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalms 63:6-8
Claudia, I too woke up this morning thinking of my loved ones that are with God. My mom, who died when I was 32, my dad, my sweet young nephew and so many more. Thank you for this Memorial Day reminder that our lives are also touched and made more meaningful because of those who fought and died for us.
Memory is a pretty wonderful gift from God. We have lots to remember and be thankful for, don’t we? Thanks for the comment Donna!
Mike and I have meant to attend Memorial Day services…but through the years we let our busy-ness keep us from making the time. This morning we went. I suppose partly because of Becky and partly because of other untimely deaths we have experienced recently (like our Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen). It was an hour of high quality speeches and singing and presentations and symbolism and poem reading and a flag presentation to a mom who lost her 21 year old in Afghanistan (Larry Rodewald from Albany). Mike McCornack was there leading his Willamette High School choir in the singing of several songs (He was concerned about you and asked how you were doing and said to say “hello”) Anyway, we were so glad we went. I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the place, well over 100 people. We will probably go every year now. We feel so thankful for all the folks who paid the ultimate price for our country and sad that they, and Becky, had to leave us so soon.
Steve and I went to the service in Corvallis last year and I agree, it was well done and moving. I sat by and spoke to a veteran of World War II who had lost his wife just that winter. He had some amazing stories to tell. I’m glad you went to the service this year. It seems to me that we better comprehend the brevity and value of life with each passing year. Hope you told Mike ‘hi’ for me and that we are managing thanks to the grace of God. Love you Sis!