Family Treasures

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you. I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.

Psalm 78:1-4 (The Message)

My wife and I were going over some old family keepsakes the other day, and we unearthed some treasures. They were treasures by my reckoning. There were not any forgotten U.S. Savings Bonds, or old stock certificates, but they were treasures nonetheless. These were items of my parents, grandparents and other assorted family members. They were photos, for example, of mom when she graduated from night school. Yes, that was a thing- some kids worked during the day and attended high school at night.

I saw old documents, mom’s old coin purse, a picture of my dad smiling in a photo from my brother’s wedding. Honestly, I never remember seeing dad smile so broadly in any other picture.

I could go on and on, but here is my point. Families have rich histories. I recall watching Ken Burns’ documentary about the Civil War (incredible, by the way), and much of its heart and soul, and historical verity, is comprised of personal letters from soldiers to their wives and moms back home. We learn about the people and the times they lived in by the letters and photos they kept.

I wrote a novel, Joseph Shepherd, which is based upon the idea of a chronicle of Shepherd’s journeys with his friend, and the legacies built on that. I didn’t know it while I was writing the book, but I was writing it to myself. I was telling myself to write down, for future generations, my thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

So, I would put this consideration forth to my dear readers. Think about ways to convey to future generations what is in your history, and what is in your soul. It is well worth it, for you and for those yet unknown family members who, years from now, will unearth a treasure.

Prayer: Father, you have given us rich lives and stories to share with others. What a plan you have for us! Amen

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