A Parable From The Past, For The Future
Once upon a time there was a child who knew a large amount of love. She was one of two children of a very young mother, a child bride. This very young mother and her much older husband had hoped for love and a life of security together. But, very soon, the large stretch in age difference and maturity along with the normal trials of the responsibilities of marriage and family began to take their toll, and dissapointment brought division. Soon, divorce brought traumatic changes. The young mother was faced with consequences which were beyond her capacity to deal with wisely. As a result of this the children were often given into the care of grandparents. Although this was a difficult challenge to this couple who had already raised four children, they took on the new responsibility with love.
My grandmother and grandfather holding our Christmas dolls
This parable is a short story of some of my own early memories. I do hope it will encourage any who may relate to these life experiences. The children in the story are myself and my older sister.
As I reflect back on the early years. I'm thinking that the everyone's lives are built by the memories we've stored up in our hearts and minds. My memories of a childlike mother are bittersweet. Yet my memories of her have grown sweeter as I've gotten older and understand the things she went through. All in all, we were very fortunate to have loving family members who were willing to sacrifice much for our good. Many laughable memories come to mind as I recall those early days of innocence in childhood. Grandad was to me a fun loving man who worked hard, but I remember him laughing and teasing us a lot. I remember a time when two little girls thought it would make him laugh if we played a trick on him. He was going into town with a friend and we hid in the back of his panel truck before he headed to town. When we were well on our way, we got up and surprised them with our presence. I imagine that I cans till see the look on his face. He wasn't laughing with us this time! But we all had lots of laughs about this later on. As I got older, I thought often of how I so admired him because he was smart enough and able enough to build the small and simple houses they lived in...
I think of Granny cooking such good biscuits, or working in the garden she loved. Many happy memories of her sparkling eyes as she would go about her day singing hymns about Jesus, and of her love for the things of the Lord. I remember pictures of Jesus on the walls. And Christmas memories of two little girls secretly looking for and discovering beautiful blue velvet matching dresses hidden, waiting for the visit of Santa Claus.
It's wonderful to have such a foundation of love in childhood to think back on. Even through the memories of early years became clouded with some not- so- good things as we grew older. As we got older our family began to experience the sad results of lives disrupted by division. Custody wars, support wars and authority wars between Mother and her parents were constant. It was traumatic for all involved and we were affected by it in later life. But the good things of childhood certainly outweighed the not-so-good things
Later in life I also began to experience these same disruptions of peace and love in my own adult experience. I have heard the saying often that "Children learn what they live", and have observed it to be a true saying. There were some hard years lived out struggling to do the best we knew how to do. Then, advancing years brought a new discovery of how the Jesus I remembered from songs was able to bring cure to these things, and I dived in deep to learning how to see that in my life. This then resulted in more wisdom about dealing with the resolution of past memories and woundings of hearts.
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
It has been said that foolishness resides in the hearts of the child. I know now that is true very often even of the grown and married child. All human beings have a need to learn to put away childish things as childhood passes away. .
The lesson here is that imperfect human beings make mistakes and pass some of the consequences of those mistakes on to their offspring. From one generation to the next. But I'm here to share the good news. We were rescued by the living hope offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The wise man will learn how to overcome the powers of negative experiences with the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord. As we finally begin to outgrow our childhood hurts, we grow into maturity with the strong help of God's grace. Then, by hindsight, we will have a different view of things we lived out.
Never allow bitterness to linger in your life. Bitterness is as a burdensome stone, it drags us down and corrupts happiness. The blame game has no winners!.
We must learn to let go of harmful things. Resist these things that try to pull us under. Thankfully, God's mercies and grace comes to those who seek it. Obedience can cause the sweet to conquer the bitter.
Although this is my story, I believe the story is common to the lives of many. You could be the child, the child bride, the lonely father, or the grandparents trying to help a son or daughter going through difficult times. You may have family experiences of lives built on memories of generational traditions, stories of their successes, and failures.You could even have much more hurtful things to recover from, but I want to give you hope. There is no hurt God cannot heal!
There is no substitute for love and kindness as a firm foundation for the lives of families. The precious winds of yesterday's memories of these acts of love never die, they serve to give us comfort when times are hard, to be a small seed of hope that there can be a brighter day.
Many of the adults in this drama have gone on to their final reward. But memories are treasures,. I encourage you to enjoy yours and do all within your power to make good and treasured memories for those you share your space in this world with.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.