Thursday, March 16, 2006

Peaceable Realm of God

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children's children. Deuteronomy 4:9

These words blaze above a single candle shining against the front wall in the Hall of Remembrance at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. After walking through the museum, full of bleak stories of torture and evil, the simplicity and power of those words haunted me.

Thousands of years ago, Moses scribed those words found in the Bible. God spoke to him, and Moses wrote it down. Then, in 2006, a southern girl found herself in Washington, D.C., staring at those words on a wall. Someone told them to their children, and their children’s children, and finally the words found me. Now I must “guard my soul,” so my future children can know too.

Walking down the steps that day, those words continued to haunt me. A few weeks have passed, and they still run in my mind. I cannot get rid of those words in the museum.

What have my eyes seen that I need to tell my future children some day?

God is answering that question for me each day. This life of mine is much bigger than I once knew. Nothing had changed; I am just developing eyes to see more of it. Good parts. Bad parts. Lost and invisible parts. I am learning to see between the lines of my days.

For instance, visiting the Holocaust Museum overwhelmed me with the reality of evil in our world. How did we allow a man like Hitler to rise to power? Can the human spirit grow to such terror that we kill children only because of their race? This type of horrific genocide continues to pump through the veins of our world, even at this very moment.

As I walked down the staircase from the museum, my heart heavy and eyes full of tears, my brother told me to keep quiet. Sarah Grace, my two-year-old niece was sleeping peacefully in her stroller in the museum. The night before, she had invaded my make-up box, and she experienced the thrill of M.A.C. eye shadow for the first time. Now, she was tired and needed a rest. She was so beautiful as she slept. In one instant, my eyes saw terror and beauty as if they were holding hands.

Last week, my front yard in Olde Town was in full bloom! Since this is my first spring in the house, the daffodils and lillies-of-the-valley surprised me. Each morning, the fruit of the tender care of the prior residents of the home greeted me when I stepped outside. The daffodils connected Mrs. Elder, who has since passed away, and me. Each of us have loved and cared for those sweet flowers that bloomed by our shared mailbox.

The sweet fragrance of those spring blossoms filled the air as I read the news that morning. Tom Fox, a peace worker in Iraq, had been found dead. He left his family to fulfill a call to help create peace in a war-torn land. Now, he is gone. Fox stated, “The only ‘something in my life’ I can hold onto is to do what little I can to bring about the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God.”

Tom Fox’s words now haunt my imagination too. How can I remember the beautiful and terrible part of our world, so our children and children’s children can experience a peaceable realm of God?


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