March 3, 2014
Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Remembering is a sacred act. Remembering gives us stability and reminds us who we are. Remembering can connect us to lessons learned and to people from whom we are separated, whether by miles or circumstances or even death.
And even though experiences may be etched into our minds, sometimes a tangible reminder has great value for helping to keep memories alive.
Recently, I watched a documentary about World War II that focused on the men of the 737th Tank Battalion. One of those heroic men, Fred Cottriel, was featured in an interview. He spoke of the hardships of battle and the difficulty soldiers experienced because of the separation from family and friends.
Fred said a common practice of wives and girlfriends of the soldiers was to send their man a personal item, often a lock of hair or some other token that they could carry with them into battle. It helped the soldiers maintain a sense of connection to those they loved back home.
As he spoke, he took a small envelope out of his pocket, opened it, and pulled out a folded piece of paper with an imprint of a “kiss” placed there in red lipstick. He unfolded it to reveal a lock of hair. His wife, Lucy, had sent it to him during the war. Sixty-five years later, he still carried it with him every day. “It’s a little lock of hair,” Fred said, “and a reminder that she still loves me.”
Sometimes I need a reminder – a reminder that I am loved. I need a reminder that, 2,000 years after He won the battle, Jesus still loves me.
I’m more and more convinced that He understands my need of the tangible, and He regularly gives me evidence of His love. Sometimes it’s an answered prayer that is so specific it can leave no doubt of His presence. It may be a much-needed passage of scripture, the words of a friend at the right moment, or – like just last night – averting an all-too-certain accident on an icy road.
At times, it’s a formal reminder that comes through the bread and wine of the communion service, which he counseled me to observe “in remembrance.”
Whatever form it takes, I’m thankful that Jesus cares enough to send me a lock of His hair and a kiss of His love.
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