Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Geekiology Pt. 2

Just a few more words pertaining to genealogy, and then I'll stop.  Or I might not.  I haven't decided yet.

I can't seem to shake a tinge of sadness as look to find more information about those family members who have lived and died before my time.  It's fun to find any new bit of information precisely because there is so little information about these people and their lives.  As my friend so eloquently ponders these questions, I, too wonder about what becomes of our lives on Earth after we are gone.  Even of those who have attained great fame on this Earth, and whose names are remembered centuries after their deaths, what really remains?  A work of art perhaps, or a literary opus?  A philosophy or scientific discovery?  But what of their real lives?
I only remember one of my great-grandmothers.  I remember hugging her frail body at her hot apartment, and I remember the wrap-around yellow-tinted glasses she wore.  Or was that her husband? I remember shopping at the Salvation Army with her, my grandmother, my mom, and my sisters, and accidently left my baby sister's stroller on the sidewalk when we drove away.  (Don't worry, Linnea, you weren't inside it.  And we went back and retrieved it.) That's pretty much all I remember of her, though my grandmother tells me that she was "sweet and wise," which is a nice way to be remembered.  By the time my great-grandchildren (should I indeed have some of those) are grown, I think the memories of my life on Earth will have evaporated.
The aforementioned friend also sent me this quote: "A human life is a story told by God" - Hans Christian Anderson.  A story told by God, or to God, and hopefully an element of about God.
When I was quite young, probably still in the single-digit age era, I remember thinking that I was such an ordinary girl that nobody would recognize me if they saw me out of context.  People from church wouldn't recognize me at the mall, and people from school wouldn't recognize me at the park in the summer.  It wasn't until a few years ago until this bizarre memory came back to me.  I was asked to share with a youth group about authentic faith, and I wanted to talk about how God loves each of us individually.  It was supposed to be a very informal talk, but, of course, I wrote everything out verbatim. Really, is there anything scarier than public speaking?  And to teenagers no less?  The positive side of that fear is that I still have all those speeches saved on the computer.  Here is a wee excerpt about my memory box (you know, that box in your closet with old school papers and love notes, etc.):

I was thinking that it was kind of sad to just have one box for keepsakes and things that stir up memories.  That got me thinking about God’s unique love, and how he knows everything about my life.  I have to look in a box to remember certain things about my life but God sees the whole picture.  He sees everything that I’ve done, everything I’ve hoped for and prayed for, every joy that I’ve experienced, every dark moment in my life and every loss that I’ve grieved.  He sees me now and he knows my personality, my gifts, and my struggles.  He loves me for who I am.   And part of authentic faith is remembering how God sees us, and how uniquely he loves us.

I suppose that doesn't end even after my life on earth has ended, and even after the last person on earth who remembers me is gone.  
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