Memorials: to Life and Death


This past weekend was one of memorials. It seems that on every news program there were reports about memorial preparations and video footage of memorial services held in honor and remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11/10.

There were stories of heroism and saved lives, loss and recovery, children who never met their dads; widowed- mothers who bravely moved on with constant reminders of their loss, the father-resemblance etched on the faces of their offspring.

Often as we viewed the images on our TV screen and heard the words “We will not forget”, we were moved to tears. Those tears expressed pride in our resilient countrymen and in the dedication and heroism of first responders, professional rescue workers, and fellow office workers at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.  There was also pride in and amazement at the braveryof those who downed the plane in Shanksville, PA; those who knowingly sacrificed their lives to save other lives.

As part of last weekend I also attended a Christian memorial service for a friend named Bill who had bravely fought, but lost a war with cancer.

Bill left a legacy behind, expressed in the testimonies of friends and family; a legacy of toughness and bravery, humor, dedication to his Savior, concern for the eternal destiny of others, and tough love that expressed itself in action to those God put in his path. Bill had discovered God’s love and forgiveness in his life and was dedicated to helping others find the same spiritual healing and release from the prison of addiction and sin; to help them discover a life of joy and peace.

But there is a third memorial that the 9/11 weekend calls forth in my mind: it’s a commemorative of wasted lives, destructive acts caused by a handful of men who were groomed by hate and bitterness against an “enemy” of their  imagination. They were groomed by others who hid in obscure places, preserving their own lives by sending others to do their murder for them. These hit-men commandeered aircraft for the sole purpose of killing others, without regard to the individual innocence or guilt of their victims.

These were men driven by the perplexing  philosophy of a strange religion that appears to be a belief in a “god” who hates, a “god” of violence.

These young men committed acts of random carnage for what? They committed suicide for what? A moment of glory that will pass away as the blades of grass? The promise of 70 virgins in paradise?

What about their wives and children left here on earth to mourn their senseless loss? What about their parents and brothers and sisters and their grief? Surely Muslims mourn these losses, as we should also mourn such a waste of life.

There is such a contrast in these three memorials:

  • the one at ground zero – a memorial to the innocent people who lost their lives, to acts of heroism and bravery by many, and to American patriotism and solidarity.
  • the memorial to our friend, Bill – which was a tribute to the God he loved and served: a God of forgiveness, purpose, joy, love, and kindness
  • and the memorial to the hijackers of 9/11/10 – a memorial to carnage; acts of confused minds driven by hatred, revenge and false promises of eternal reward; a memorial to wasted lives.

I desire that my life be a memorial to the living God who gives the sure promise of eternal life to those who trust in the sacrificial death of His Son, the One who died to give life, not to take it.

May my life be a memorial to our resurrected Savior who stands with His arms open and says in Matthew chapter 11:

 28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

And may my life be a memorial to the living God, our heavenly Father, who reminds us through the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 to:

“ . . . present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Such a living memorial will bring honor to the God of love who calls us to life, not death.

If you have never met the living God, He is only as far away as a prayer: “God, I would like to know you, please show me how. I want to experience the gift of spiritual life that you are offering me.”

I would love to be of help to you in your search for life with meaning and purpose – a life of peace and joy.  Please feel free to contact me.

©2011, Marcy Alves

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About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on September 13, 2011, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, In the News, My Journey, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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