Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Perpetual Memory


Psalm 45:17
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.
Love,
Andy

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.


16 comments:

  1. What a precious gift, Martha! The most simple of objects can hold great meaning for us. There are several precious keepsakes that hold meaning for me--not sure if they would for anyone else though. One is my grandma's (mom's mom) Bible--it's one she used in her later years--the one I remember seeing her use. Another is my dad's rocking horse. It's a small one that was produced by a toy company in the 1930s, according to my research.

    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Kim, those are precious mementos to have! I'll bet that rocking horse could be worth a fortune on the market, but parting with it would only hurt your heart. Even though you never had the opportunity to know your dad, this is a wonderful reminder that he is present in your heart and that you will meet him in Heaven one day.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. How precious!! I have both my mom's new testament that she had since a child that she read faithfully and my dad's bible. I cherish both. I have several mementos that mean the world for me.

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    1. Wow, Kathy, you have a cherished New Testament and a Bible, too! It's a small world, my friend, is it not?
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Oh Martha, I love it! Rev's mom gave him his grandfathers Pastoral Agenda in German. It's fragile from years of use and cherished as a precious reminder of his love for the Lord and the people to whom he shared God's love. Hugs!

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    1. Oh, wow, Deb! What a gift that is! Even if we can't translate the language, God's love translates into any language of the heart. :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. Mom I would love to see these on Sunday!

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  5. Mom I would love to see these on Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! It is really nice to have them. :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. How beautiful, these treasures! I have my mother’s journal, and her devotional by Corrie Ten Boom, and these keepsakes are my treasure.

    Btw, I got a feeling your babygirl will end up with these ;-) You think?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, to have your mother's journal and devotional courtesy of such an awesome Christian as Corrie Ten Boom, you are so blessed, Debra! A friend (blogger) Michelle DeRusha just published "50 Women Every Christian Should Know" and Corrie is one of those! I'm sure you would enjoy reading this book!

      Yes, I will pass these down when the time comes. In the meantime, I will allow the King James to fill my heart with truth and poetry, and sanctify memories . . .

      Love and blessings!

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  7. wow Martha what a priceless treasure this is. Like my Aunt Anna's collection. We hold something alive of theirs in our own hands. What an honor to have them. I can feel your pleasure...

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    1. I know! When I read your wonderful post about your Aunt Anna, Jean, I thought immediately of my grandmother's Bible and dad's New Testament, not to mention so many I loved who have gone on before me. Yes, I'm treasuring these two items.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. What a wonderful gift and surprise, Martha. And what divine timing that you've received this now. A great testament to remember each generation's love for Christ. i've been sitting here for quite a while reading that verse your grandmother penned. It's like a direct message from her to you. and to all of us:) Thank you so much for sharing, Martha.

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