“He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.” – Luke 1:50 NLT
God’s mercy in every last generation, goes beyond simply not getting what we all know we deserve. The word for mercy embraces His covenant love for all of mankind. However, a critical element is mankind’s individual choice to receive His unconditional love.
Every Last Generation In Family
At a recent family gathering, I had taken some of the photo albums from the Rightmeier trunk to share. I always hope the photos will stimulate memories and conversation, perhaps uncovering some detail or, in some cases, the identity of persons in the photos.
My sister made a comment that has stuck with me: ” I am grateful for the character these people built and passed on to me. Their perseverance enables me to be who I am today.” As I looked into the faces of these ancestors I have never met, I too was grateful.
I am sure, as they:
- raised their families,
- strived to make ends meet,
- put food on the table
- keep their homes as tidy as possible,
there was little thought about destiny. My folk were from the surviving class of an immigrant generation. Yet, there was an element of hope that their children would do better with a bit more ease.
That hope came from a very private but real faith in a Creator that somehow, in the midst of hardship, loved unconditionally. That hope was passed down to me, but a moment came when I chose, personally, to say “yes” to the offer of covenant life.
Every Last Generation In Community
I remember the Christian artist Carmen whose music resonated with me. I had no connection to him, except as a believer in Jesus Christ, and I only saw him once in a live concert, but his music spoke to me. Layer I learned why.
In the 1970s I volunteered at a coffee house on East Colfax Avenue in Denver. This was a place where folks could wander in off the street, listen to contemporary Christian music, get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and hang out.
The leader and key musician was Charles McPheeters, a former drug addict and Hollywood D.J. I had first heard him tell his life story and of his coming to faith in Jesus Christ at my Kansas public high school in 1969. Although I was already a believer in that personal, go to church every Sunday way, Charles’ testimony sparked a knowing that there was more, much more.
After moving to Denver, a failed marriage and a crisis of faith, I heard about the Holy Ghost Repair Service. One Saturday afternoon, I gathered up all the courage I could, and drove to East Colfax. “I am here to help” was all could muster in this world of drug addicts and homeless souls.
Charles and the band would play until the wee hours of the morning, jamming hard core Christian rock as I and others handed out sandwiches. It was a key formative time for me as I did what I could to reach out to this unfamiliar culture.
Later I found that one of the major influencers in Carmen’s music was Charles McPheeters. No wonder Carmen’s music felt familiar! It had, in part, been built upon a previous “generation”. Carmen’s audience was different, his presentation more polished, even performance oriented but it had that raw confrontational element present in Charles’ craft.
Your Story, What You Do Matters
The truth is, what I do affects the future and lays a foundation for the next generation. Even though we do not have children ourselves, I am aware that how I live, how I approach life has an influence on those I meet and know. We may discount or shrink from that reality, but there is no escape.
These two examples bear out the truth that every last generation serves the next, Once your eyes and ears become attuned, you recognize the threads that weave these stories from one generation to the next. While some stories seem to be only in the moment, most of the time, they are connected to a much larger framework.
Capturing these threads is a vital to the rescuing of the stories you are destined to tell. These threads may be the spark to your story. Or, they may emerge on your journey of story rescue. Either way, keep your eyes open. They are there!
My new book: Give Your Story A Voice, can help you in this journey. Get it by clicking on the link here.
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