Walking across Omaha Beach was so different from walking across our beaches. On June 5th and 6th, 2017, we visited The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. The night of June 5th, storms came through, just like they did the night 73 years earlier before Operation Overlord was launched. The thunder and lightening that night were haunting, as if soldiers were re-battling and re-marching through the fields surrounding our AirBnB.
The next morning, while walking Omaha Beach, my feet sank at least four to five inches into the sand. The longest day began at 6:30 a.m. Our soldiers on D-Day were carrying about 100 lbs. of equipment. Imagine how much further their feet sank than mine. Imagine how many didn’t know how to swim. They didn’t grow up with video games that inoculated them to war. God didn’t design them for war. God designed them for the garden, but He placed character traits within them to be able to confront the challenges of the times in which they lived. He equipped them to be able to confront horrific moments like these.
9,388 soldiers are buried in The World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. As we walked through the field of crosses and read the names in 2017, all I could think about was the 9,388 mothers whose sons didn’t come home. A total of 405,399 sons didn’t come home in World War II – 405,399 mothers and fathers lost the apple of their eye. Being a hero, a savior, a soldier is dangerous work. Remembering their ultimate sacrifice for you and me is important. Remembering a life lost is important – a mother’s son’s sacrifice!
“Through the Gate of Death may they Pass to their Joyful Resurrection. . .
Think not only on their passing. Remember the Glory of their Spirit. . . .”
~ United States Cemetery and Memorial, Normandy France
When my sons reach a certain age, they take the threads to their story in their own hands, and I am left to just watch them live their stories out – though, up to that point, all those little boy stories are storied up in my heart to remember when I miss when they lived in my house, when my job was to keep them safe, heal their wounds, discipline their spirits, and shepherd their stories – when my hand was on their story thread until they were big enough and strong enough to take all those story threads of themselves into their own capable hands.
Looking at all those crosses, almost 10,000, on the bluff over-looking Omaha Beach in Normandy in 2017, my heart grieved for the soldiers lost – and all those mothers whose sons would never come through the door, sit at the table, and tell their stories.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
~ John 15:3
I wondered at all those mothers – did they live in perpetual sadness and loss – or did they reach out to their Savior for grace and faith to turn their mourning into joy in the hope of that heavenly reunion where they would once again be able to hug their son – and listen to a lifetime of stories of what he’s been doing in heaven. Looking at that sea of crosses, of boys who became heroes to save nations, I thought – it’s a tough and strong thing, these mothers raising heroes.
Today a spirit of holiness covers this place – a holy peace that seems to recognize this great gift given to France by her friends.
“Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
Remember Me Monday: #96 & Link-up
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
. love extravagant.”
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Note: The Linky Powers That Be suggested that you load your own photo from your computer. For some reason, it will not load from your link. I will continue to try to sort this problem out. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessings
Sweet Tea & Friends Monthly Link-up