“Each year . . . lays down a new layer of story and adventure, beauty and encounter. Layer upon layer . . . like the technique Rembrandt and the Old Masters used in their painting: carefully laying down dozens of layers of paint to achieve the extraordinary effect of depth and gravitas. The power of building memories, storing them up . . .”- John Eldredge
In Chapter 11 (“The Gifts of Memory”) of Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge talks about his annual family pilgrimage to the Tetons and the Snake River in Wyoming. Furthermore, John observes that when you invest yourself in a place over time, each succeeding return grows richer. And John holds in his hand an object that stirs these memories. A smooth, glacially polished stone he plucked out of a creek on the last day of the trip.
Above all, memory contains a touching, merciful quality. That quality has to do with a constant, common occurrence of loss very near to us. In fact, it’s so prevalent that we’ve grown totally numb to it. Or numbed because we’re unable to make time stand still – if only for a moment. Because before you can blink, each precious moment suddenly gets distant – whether it’s last week, last month, or last year.
Certainly, John underscores, this is tragic, sweeping, and expansive loss. Even as you read this sentence, the river of life sweeps every dear moment of your entire life downstream. This greatly harms your soul and your life with God. Hence, the author offers these words of hope:
“Lest we despair, God has given us ‘a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT) and to be quite specific, it includes the restoration of every precious day of our lives. Heaven is not a memory wipe. It is the time and capacity to truly relish the story of our lives, to see the hand of God in it all (how many times angels rescued you), to be vindicated, and even rewarded.”
Today’s question: What memory lays down a new layer of story and adventure, beauty and encounter for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The daily experience of loss”