Memoirs are big business these days, and not just for celebrities. Anyone can self-publish a life story, a valuable gift for generations to come. “Getting it in writing” is a wonderful way to preserve the family history told in stories by grandma and grandpa.
My sister, brother and I made an effort to record our folks’ remembrances before video cams were available, using a cassette recorder and still photography. None of us anticipated what a treat it would be to hear their voices after they’d died, and of course the stories they told of the Great Depression, of family deaths, of their courting months were priceless.
Video memoirs are also popular, adding the face and voice to a loved one’s explanation of what’s most important to him or her. The wisdom of age is precious, and preserving it in print or on video is worth the effort.
There’s another way a person can communicate their life story: a charm bracelet. Originally soldiers wore charms for good luck during war or as identification in case they died on the battlefield. At the time of the Roman Empire, underground church members would wear tiny fish charms attached to their clothing to identify themselves to other Christians.
It wasn’t until British royalty began wearing charm bracelets in the early 1900’s that they became trendy, and ever since then the fashion world has fallen in and out of love with charms. When I was 16, my first boyfriend started a bracelet for me, and I was thrilled. Over two year’s time, he added nine silver charms, each one proving how well he knew my life story. When people were inquisitive about the bracelet, I got a chance to speak-out my memoir.
I have a second charm bracelet put together on a family trip to Europe in the 1960’s, one charm for each country we visited. My sister has a gold charm bracelet given on her wedding day when her groom presented her with a charm representing their marriage.
All of us want to mark the milestone events of our lives in a special way. It’s healthy and helpful. Memoirs, recordings and bracelets can accomplish this. Scripture demonstrates the same principle when God told his people to pile up stones of remembrance or make altars of worship as monuments of watershed moments with him, “lest you forget.”
He reminded them often of his personal touch on their lives and wanted them to know beyond doubt he’d always be there for them. Sadly, they had a dismal track record of remembering. A few charm bracelets might have helped.
And right there is the loftiest purpose of a memoir, to serve as a reminder of God’s consistency in touching our lives. During the daily grind when nothing special is happening, it’s easy to forget his former activity in our lives. We wonder if he’ll ever do amazing things for us again or if he’s forgotten about us.
Knowing who he is, this kind of thinking is shameful. Instead we ought to read our own memoirs and be lifted back to a place of belief and full expectation.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12)