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Small Tokens

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNpJ2lFk9yk I was overwhelmed seeing images of the display of 880,000 poppies (one for every British soldier lost in WW1) surrounding the Tower of London.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to see it in person. Looking around on-line I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any comparable observances here in the United States in honor of the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.  In fact, I’m not sure my generation is aware of any form of Armistice observance other than more sales at the shopping mall or a piddly parade.  Even our neighbors to the North still carry on the tradition of pinning on a bright red poppy. It’s just a small token, but it at least brings some sense of decorum to the day, which is something we Americans seem to have flung overboard as effectively as the proverbial tea.

small tokens

small tokens

In Joshua 4 we read about God stopping the waters of the Jordan so the Israelites could pass through. Then He commanded one man from each of the Twelve Tribes to take a stone out of the Jordan and to carry it on their shoulder to the other side.  “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them… So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever (v6,7).” photo 1-5 Americans need more stones of remembrance.  At the very least, they remind us to be thankful.  To show gratitude to God and others, because there is really nothing at all we’ve accomplished, achieved, or acquired on our own accord.

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Yesterday was a day for small tokens.  Tom read us a story about a lady who used poppies pinned to the shoulder just as the Israelites used stones to teach future generations to remember the great events, the great sacrifices, and The Greater Hand of Providence that governs them all.  The boys cut out little paper poppies while I made coffee and muffins for a small crowd of neighbors we had invited to gather on our beach.  Alec, our resident bagpiper, played a few tunes in remembrance of those who have given much fighting for the freedoms we now give away.  And we “talked story,” as the Hawaiians say.  Small tokens.  Plain stones.  But I hope each one there walked away a little more thankful and a little more determined to remember.

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Make sure you watch this next video, too!

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7 thoughts on “Small Tokens

  1. So Interesting!!! I am from Canada and just happen to cross the border with a friend to the States while wearing my poppy a couple of days before Nov.11. We were asked at Starbucks what they meant because the cashier had seen a few people with them(cross border shoppers haha) Another older lady stopped us and said how sad she was that your country didn’t do this and that we should bring lots of poppies next time to sell….We promptly removed our poppies and gave them to her. She was just thrilled. It was actually very humbling as I just assumed that everyone recognized Nov.11 the same as we do. I am glad you have taken the time to teach your boys. 3 of my grown men/boys (one was away at school) went to the ceremonies on their own that day with no coaxing.

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