I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
About three weeks ago, I open my e-mail and find, to my delight, a note from my cousin, Andy, who lives in Massachusetts. I haven't seen him, or the rest of my northern cousins, for many years. And, aside from the condolences offered in the passing of my father, his Uncle Bill, I hadn't heard from Andy in quite some time. I open the e-mail eagerly.
Dear Martha Jane,
I was sorting through some old trunks and came across the Bible which belonged to Grandma Grace and a New Testament which was given to your dad by Great-Grandma Jesse. I thought you would appreciate having these. If so, just send me your mailing address, and I'll send them to you.
Would I appreciate having them? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course! How could I not want to have in my possession such dear items which belonged to family whom I love and miss? I am overwhelmed and deeply touched by Andy's offer. I let him know immediately of my interest in both books, thanking him most sincerely for his thoughtfulness.
(For those of you who might be wondering why it took Andy so long to find these, please understand that the house he lives in, which belonged to his mother and father, is old. Really old!
As I recall, the cellar was cavernous, and there were several chests and trunks stored there. Perusal of their contents could easily be put off for a rainy day.)
The books arrive last week.
The New Testament was given to my father by his grandmother when he was only nine-years-old.
My Grandma Grace's Bible, worn and well used, is filled with underlined verses and these items tucked away amid the pages.
My attention is immediately drawn to the card. When I open it, I know why.
It is a note from my dad to his mother written almost thirty years ago. Grandma Grace must have received hundreds of cards over her lifetime, but that she chose to keep this particular one inside her Bible speaks volumes. As I read my father's words and cradle his New Testament, memories come flooding back to me.
And, the tears flow.
They need to.
One day, I will pass these cherished books on to my children and they, in turn, will give them to theirs. We will perpetuate the memories through all generations, so they will know the family who came before them loved the Lord their God.
And, in the first blank page of her Bible, my grandmother penned the verse from a hymn, a complete admission of Christian faith and hope in the Lord's promises:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives.
Do you have a treasured keepsake which was passed down to you by a loved one?
Prayer: Father, may those whom we love who now live in Your presence bask in the light of Your glory. May we, while we are here on earth, praise You before all the nations and tell of Your great works so that You are remembered by all the people. May we know all fear is gone because You live in us and hold the future in Your hands. In Jesus' name, we pray, amen.