Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Musings

"Greater love has no man than this: that one would lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13

"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,"- George Santanaya

I'm sitting on my front porch writing this. The sky is bright blue with a few scattered fluffy white clouds.  The wind chime above my head is lulling me to sleep, and the branches on the trees across the road are doing their own dance.  Wallace and Caleb are headed up to Papaw's to ride around the hill, and later today we'll head to the cemetary to visit Wallace's Dad's grave, like many across the nation.

Memorializing.  Remembering.

Some memories are good, and bring smiles and laughter to mind.  Others are difficult, and make us want to shut our hearts off to the pain.

Remembering is important. 

In the Bible, Noah build an altar after the ark came to rest, to sacrifice to God for His blessings.  Abraham made an altar.  Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, and Jesus cautioned, "Remember Lot's wife."

All of these altars were made of stone, indestructible.  More than just piled up heaps, they remained where they were as memorials to what God had done.  The pillar of salt standing where Lot's wife looked back is a reminder to look to Jesus, always keep focused forward, never backward.  Looking back will trip you up.

During the Passover, Moses cautioned the people that the dinner and the ritual they were undertaking would serve as a "memorial" to their children.  Thousands of years later, Jews across the world pull up to the table during the Passover meal and recite the same prayer and story quoted on that past night.  This serves as a memorial to what God did as He led them to the Promised Land.  It also serves as a memorial to us about what happens with disobiedance, as they wandered for 40 years.

And Jesus, at that last Passover meal, broke the bread and poured the wine. "Do this in remembrance of me." Remember that I am going to the cross for Your sin. Remember that my body will be broken, bruised, and violated for your transgressions. Remember that I love you so much that I chose to lay down my life for you.

America was founded on religious freedom, regardles of what anyone says.  Our forefathers trusted in the same God that so many today push aside.  He sustained them on pilgrim ships and in Congress halls and on battlefields turned bloody from Redcoat advancement.  He followed them as they forged the mountains and crossed the Mississippi and entered the wild west.  He protected them as they fought so that I could have the right to type this, while enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

And that bravery continued, as we sent young men overseas to fight for freedom and injustice.  Through World Wars and conflicts, Americans continued to fight for what they believe to be right, based on biblical principles of neighborly love and protection... even as that same God that protected so many is pushed out.

And today, I am humbled to say thank you.  It doesn't seem enough.  As I think of the small sacrifice I gave, 10 weeks as Wallace trained, it seems like nothing, but for me it was everything. And across the nation are families that continue to do so, for longer periods of time... and God forbid, sometimes for good.  On this Memorial Day, I'm glad my soldier is home and am praying for all those who are not. 

Freedom is not free, and nothing worth having does not contain some small portion of sacrifice. The difference here is, those sacrificing are people you will never know.  That great love Jesus spoke of?  Greatest from Him... because His sacrfice was ultimate and sealed the deal for all of us.  But that same love, it continues today in men and women dressed in camo, on bases across America and throughout the world.  I never really got it... still don't completely get it... but I have a better understanding. 

As we thank those men and women and their families, may we remember what they were fighting for. May we remember to learn from mistakes made.  May we keep moving forward, all the while clinging to that which is good, and just, and right. 

God bless our veterans, our military, and our great nation.  And may we remember to look back to Him.

On this Monday, counting my gifts with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experiece... gifts such as:
freedom.  Wallace being home.  Caleb laughing.  My grandpa who served in the Army and my great-uncle who was killed in WWII, the military legacy of Breathitt County (only county in the US during WWI who did not have to draft to fill their quota.  Breathitt may have been known for its bloodiness, but it was brave.) The sunshine and the wind and my fingers on this keyboard.  You are good.... and You are God.  Thank You. 
I'm on 915... on my way to 1,000.  And counting makes all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. You are so close to 1000! Keep it up! What a sweet post of thanksgiving and a reminder of those who serve to bring us freedom. They pay the price for our freedom. You are right...freedom is not free. Blessings to you! Linking up after you at Ann's.