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.
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).” 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.
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.
Make sure you watch this next video, too!