Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Reflection {Graffiti Summer}

World War II Memorial

On Memorial Day, my status update on Facebook shared words from a post written by Sara Horn, "As a nation, it is our duty to remember them." Over and over again this past week my mind has been on how we need to remember.

I stood before my church on Sunday morning and struggled with sharing my heart. My shaking hand held a piece of paper that contained many words. Words like, We will not forget. We will never forget. Living Hope Church remembers. The light shone brightly as I tried to read from that piece of paper. The faces of those who sat in the congregation were blurred. My eyes squinted to get a glimpse of the ones standing. To me it was important to remember the faces of those who were remembering a loved one lost, and to also remember the faces of our veterans.

There was a chill in the air on Memorial Day and clouds covered the sky. I was grateful for the quietness of the day. It almost seemed appropriate that our day was spent without a barbecue to kick off the summer, but simply spent remembering as we went about our individual routines. I know for both my husband and I, remembering was on our heart.

Before we became a military family, regretfully I admit Memorial Day was just a day off of work and a time to enjoy being with family and friends. Please forgive me.

I was purposeful in ensuring we took time to remember this year so our morning began with attending a local Memorial Day ceremony. It was a challenge to hear the speakers, but there was no doubt what their message was—today we remember.

It felt good to be among many others who were there to remember. The room was filled with veterans and for many remembering brings great pain. Many know all too well the price that was paid. The faces of friends lost are carried with them. The sister who shared on behalf of her family of a son and brother lost a happy Memorial Day I'm sure it was not. Memorial Day is a solemn day so why do we say Happy Memorial Day?

There is one face I carried home with me. It's the face of a veteran who walked with a smile on his face, a flag in his hand and a heart for his fellow soldiers that was clearly seen. I'm guessing this man was a World War II veteran. His smile...I clearly remember his smile. My husband and I passed on by him and with our own brief smile and said, "Good afternoon, Sir."

Alene Snodgrass shares a prayer in Part One of her Graffiti: Study and Do guide. "Dear Heavenly Father, I don't know where you are leading me. I know I'm ready to experience you in a whole new way. Open my ears to hear your call. Give my heart a vision to how I can help others. Amen."

The face of this man I'm unable to shake from my mind. He appeared to not have a care in the world as he walked down the sidewalk. If I would have stopped to talk with him maybe I would have discovered his cares were great and his needs were many. What I do know is God was surely tugging at my heart. There are no chance encounters. God knew I would pass this man. Could it be God used this man to minister to me?

Just maybe God was tugging at my heart as I walked past this man to say, "Serving others isn't handed to you in a box tied up with a pretty bow. It will be uncomfortable. It will require you stepping over your fears. But I will be with you as you take those steps."

I had a dream of turning around and running across the street back to this man and allowing him to wrap his arm around mine as we walked together. I dreamed of him sharing his story with me...a story filled with sorrow and also with love. I imagined him spending Memorial Day with us and my heart being filled by the time we returned him home.

When I woke there wasn't sadness for what did not take place for I know God is at work in me. He's opening my eyes to a world that exists on the other side of the street. Alene asks in her book Graffiti, "Do you wonder if your story will reflect the love you dared to give?"  I don't want to wonder. God, please make me brave.

A day will come, hopefully very soon, when I will share with you how I stepped over my fears and walked across the street.

Until then, will you join me in this Graffiti Summer challenge so we can encourage each other in stepping over our fears? The challenge begins on June 3rd. Download Alene's book, Graffiti, here in Kindle. Then download your free Graffiti: Study and Do guide. You can also ask to join the Graffiti Facebook page.

Sharing with Alene for her Graffiti Summer challenge.And also with Jennifer Dukes LeeJen FergusonJen Avellaneda, and Tracy.


  1. Hi Beth,
    I am following you at Winsome Wednesdays. I am a Canadian but I do pray for our military too. And I think of yours as well. We don't have a Memorial Day but we have Remembrance Day in November - on November 11th. That's the day we remember those who have given up their lives for our freedom.
    Praying for the US - our friends in Christ too. May we keep Him as our priority because one day there will be no countries and only God with His children.

    1. Hello Janis! My father's family is actually from Canada. I have so many wonderful memories of our times visiting their farm in Petrolia...a small town in Ontario. One of these days I hope to explore Canada further. Thank you for stopping in and sharing, and for your prayers for our military. God bless.

  2. This is awesome!!! Being a military family, as well, my heart is so sensitive to those that have served. And it pains me terribly that so many of the homeless I meet are homeless vets. My mind can not even wrap around that. Loving this journey with you! You need to link up this post too, so all can read and be blessed. WOO HOO here we go next Monday.

    1. Can't wait to begin on Monday, Alene! Love what God is doing already as many come together to take this journey with you. XO

  3. Oh, I've been there, wanting to do-over in time and act on my initial heart tug. I'm learning to listen to those more and respond in the moment, not let time slip away. Lovely reflection on your Memorial Day and what it really means for us.

    1. Thank you for stopping in Shelly. I'm hoping this journey over the next month with Alene helps me to respond more in the moment. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Blessings, Beth

  4. Your words are always such a blessing....

  5. Beth,
    Once again, beautiful words from a loving and caring heart! You ARE brave and I so appreciate the sacrifices that you and other military families have and continue to make so that we can enjoy our freedom!
    With heartfelt love and gratitude (and of course ((hugs)),

    1. Bev, you always say words that warm my heart. (((hugs))), Beth

  6. Yes, a solemn day. There will be other moments Beth...there will be. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Thank you for stopping in, Dea. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Blessings, Beth


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