Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Mark. — How will you remember?

on November 17, 2013

As a social studies educator, I have always been fascinated by the intricacies and complexities of public memory.

It is the art and science of remembering.

Remembering and honoring a place. Or a person. Or an event.

Our land is full of monuments and statues and signs. All of these are a mark.

A mark that is thoughtful and intentional and sometimes even political. But ultimately it serves as a way of remembering.

A unique way of marking time. A way of memorializing for now. And for future generations.

This morning, the awesome preacher in the little church in the little town doing big things shared a story of Samuel.  Specifically, I Samuel 7:12 “Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!”

(Semi-related, he also threw a shout out to MommyVerbs and the pilgrimage to the 40th birthday tattoo as well, as he played around with a tattoo machine as a prop this morning. Have I mentioned that I love this little church in this little town doing big things?  Well, I do.) 

In MommyVerb’s lingo: Samuel took a large stone and created a memorial. He marked this place as a way to honor a monumental event in order to always remember what happened … here…then.

Which makes me wonder…how do we leave our mark?

What do we leave behind as a momento that something important happened here? That we did something that matters. Something that needs to be remembered? That we loved and were loved. That we helped and were helped.  That we created and were created. That we forgave and were forgiven.

We are surrounded by these. By these marks. It might be a gravestone. It might be a tree planted as a memorial. It might even be a road sign or a historical placard. 

Or it might even be a scrapbook of pictures.

Or a book …or maybe even a little ol’ blog.

All of these things say, … I was here. I helped here. I was helped here. I hope I made a difference.

Why do these marks matter? Once something has happened, once someone has been there…and then it is over or they are gone…why does it matter? Why does it need to be carved in stone? Why does it need to be remembered?

Because. Because it does.

Because what we do and what we believe and how we live and how we act…it all matters.

And it needs to be remembered.

So. Write it down. Take the pictures. Plant the trees. Pile up the rocks or get the tattoo.

As a way to remember.

Because where we have been and what we have done with the people that are important to us…

it all matters.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Today’s Action Challenge: What is your mark? How do you want to be remembered? What is your memorial to your life’s work and passions? Design it yourself. What does it look like? Is it a sign? Is it a park? Is it a living flame? What is the experience of remembering all of the awesome that is you?

Let’s all, Go. Do that.


3 responses to “Mark. — How will you remember?

  1. Rahul says:

    Reblogged this on In a preferred embodiment and commented:
    I do not want to leave any mark. I do not want to be remembered either as a great man or a bad man, or as someone who loved or got love, or as someone who achieved or failed, or as someone who won or lost. I have realised, pretty early in my life, that these marks don’t matter. The marks are also forgotten by a large majority. As soon as one is out of sight, his marks and his memories are out of mind. What is deeper than the mark of passionate and selfless love on someone’s heart? If people can forget that mark, I wonder what other mark will survive the machinations of time and the vagaries of life? Humans must not crave immortality, either in material or abstract sense. I will someday write on this extensively.

  2. Jan says:

    Well said. That is what I struggle with when someone passes. They were here and now they are gone. What is left behind? Their mark. Well said.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      And most of the time, more often than not, the mark left behind is not a statue or great memorial. It might be a gravestone or a pile of rocks. But what we remember is the mark that they made on our lives. The love given. The memories shared. The wisdom passed on. Most of the time, I think the marks that endure the test of time, are the ones left on hearts.

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