This weekend, we had the chance to visit with Mr. N.'s parents for a casual dinner. We haven't had much of an opportunity to just go up for the day and relax with them, so this was a nice change of pace. My mother-in-law had scanned in some family pictures for me, so that I could start incorporating Mr. N.'s family into our gallery walls and such. She knew how important this was to me, and in talking to her I began to realize even more just why remembering our family matters.
This is my great grandfather. He was killed when he was about 22 years old, so he lived just long enough to get married and have my grandmother before he died. It was in 2009 that after years, and years, and years of searching we found the rest of his family and were able to piece together the story of his life and discover what a remarkable man he really was. It made me realize that without all of these individuals in our past, take away just one, we would not be here. They had hopes and dreams and loves, too. And it's important to remember their humanity and continue to honor them in passing on their memory to future generations. We have a couple of small gallery walls in our hallway where we display old and new family photos and it's a neat thing to be able to share with people as they take a turn around the house.
Now, maybe you don't have any old photos from your ancestors for whatever reason. Not everyone does, and not everyone can trace back their family history. If that's you, maybe just thank God from time to time for the people in your past, whether you know their names or not. Thank Him for each of their lives. If your past is a more painful one, maybe thank God for redemption and forgiveness. I don't say this lightly, because I know that some family wounds can run extremely deep and last for some time. However, God is a God of restoring the broken and He can use the past for good. Do you have children who you've adopted? Maybe teach them about their country of origin if you have no record of their birth family. We have no control over where we come from or who helped to put us here, but God knows. Each life is precious and is worth remembering in whatever way we can.
One of the things I'm looking forward to when we have children, is teaching them about all of these people in their past. It's important for us to honor them. I like to think that maybe somewhere they can see us and know that they're not forgotten. That their lives mattered and matter still.