It has been a memorable week in the Ozarks, and not all for the best reasons. Joplin is still reeling and will be for some time after an EF5 tornado ripped through their town. However, sometimes great difficulties bring out great support and cooperation. This has been the case thus far and hopefully for sometime to come. It has been encouraging to see signs of progress and a renewed spirit of community even among people who were previously strangers.
Then there is the actual holiday which recognizes the sacrifices of those men and women who gave what Abraham Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” Families and friends will be descending upon cemetaries all through our nation to put flags on the graves of our honored dead. It will be an emotional day in that regard too.
Churchwise, we will be reading the names of those members who have died since last Memorial Day and ringing a handbell after each one. The longer I stay, the more familiar these people are to me. It is very important to recognize and appreciate their involvement in our fellowship and the contributions they have made to the life of our church.
So, I am approaching this weekend with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving for my blessings. There is no way to comprehend what it’s like to lose everything like our Joplin friends, or bury a family member who died in the line of duty. But, we can pause and reflect upon what is going on in our lives and in the lives of those around us, and upon doing that ought to put our problems in better perspective.