I don’t know what to put in it, but I know that it holds memories of the past and dreams for the future. Memories of sharing coffee and conversations with Tawnya in Prague while the now grown kids play in the background, hospitality extended to me through the years, playing clue with Kristy in the kitchen of Malenovice, sitting on the Vuletic’s balcony, and dreams of owning more pottery as I live in Europe.
My friend, Sarah, surprised me last summer with this gift, my first piece of Polish Pottery. The fragile present traveled far and wide, a car ride from Czech Republic to Croatia, a plane ride from Croatia to Arizona, and then through the US postal service to arrive unbroken at my home. This gift was from God. I believe it was his way of letting me know he sees my heart and knows my desires. This gift also became a memorial. When I look upon it I am reminded of the way God showed up every summer since 2001 in Eastern Europe. I see the faces of young people who were introduced to Jesus for the first time and hear their questions as they desire to know God more. This is a memorial to a God who shined his light through a cracked vessel and filled her with a deeper knowledge of his love.
1 When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. 3 Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. 5 He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” –Joshua 4
Did you notice that God give directions to the Israelites to build a memorial? It’s the first command he gives after they miraculously crossed the Jordan River. Building a memorial must have been so important to God that he would ask his people to do this first before they take any rest or before they move forward to Jericho. Why? Why did the Lord give this command? He wanted the Israelites to remember and to tell their children about the time that God showed up in a powerfully awesome way by stopping the flood waters so an entire nation could cross on dry land. What a story to tell children!!
If we are in relationship with God, then we all have amazing stories to tell “children” about our God. As a matter of fact, we should be sharing not only with our children, but all people about how God showed up. We must remember what God has done in our lives for it brings us joy and strengthens our faith. We need memorials. My Polish Pottery is my memorial, my opportunity to speak to my children and others who visit our home about God’s great work in Eastern Europe.
What memorials are you building to remember God’s presence and to tell others?