Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Memory

And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." Revelation 14:13

This week of the year has become a bit of a struggle for me.  You see, my brother’s birthday was September 20, 1951 and my sister’s birthday was September 23, 1942.  While the shock of their passing is over, their absence is still very real in my life.  

It’s strange how you are affected when your siblings are gone.  Now, with mom and dad both gone as well, there is a sense of loneliness at times.  Sometimes I recall an event from our family history and have a desire to share it or get more details only to remember there is no one to call.  Holidays are still times of remembrance with the empty chairs.  Spending time with their families, I see the resemblance of my siblings in my nephews and remember.

I am not alone with feelings of this sort.  Grief is not particular about who it will visit.  Many who read this have lost someone and are well aware of the sense of loss I speak of.  Sadly, too many just push the memory away and try to carry on with their lives.

Although sad, these are good memories; for they recall the blessings we experienced in those relationships.  It is in the memories of the lives of those we lost that we honor them.  They are with us still.

I cannot forget some words I heard on an old-time radio show concerning remembering.  A mother who had a son in trouble had asked a man to help and he did.  He saved the young man from death.  In response to his act, the mother said this, “I only had one son and now I have two for I have made room in my heart for you.  As long as my heart beats, you will be remembered.”

No, I am not saddened by the memories.  Memories now trigger feelings of gratitude for the blessing of God through them on my life.  There are still tears; for there is still loss.  But the grief is much easier to bear knowing that these memories are God’s way of making sure they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.
Thanks Gayle and Larry for 50+ years of love and family!
Father, I pray today for all the memories that come to mind of those who have gone before us.  May we recognize them not as burdens to bear but as blessings to help us remember your gifts to us of people who loved us.
In the name of Christ I pray, Amen
(submitted by: Pastor Van)

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