Desperate to be Remembered

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.36.27 PMA young Frenchman died on a battlefield one hundred years ago in World War I. Countless others too. His grieving family kept his bedroom just as it was when he left, as so many families do. But this family wrote into the deed of the house that all future owners must keep the young man’s room just as it is for 500 years. Five hundred years!

The soldier’s dress uniform is falling apart from age, and maybe moths. Photographs and possessions are neatly laid out–a private museum to his memory.

But no one remembers him. His family is long gone, and no one remembers them either. The current owner of the house dutifully preserves the room, and his granddaughter indicates she’ll preserve it too, as the deed commands.

But the memories have vanished with those who knew him. The memorabilia that remain are no more than detached curiosities vainly attempting to preserve a memory long lost.

Humans have an inbuilt desire for immortality. We live as long as we possibly can, sometimes longer than nature meant us to live. And we hope to be long remembered.

Yet the words from Scripture are hauntingly true:

“As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more” (Isaiah 103:15-16).

The last line, our being forgotten, is perhaps more painful than the thought of death itself. Yet that’s not the end:

“But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’S love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts” (17-18).

Attempts to be remembered ultimately end in vanity. Because those who remember invariably die.

In the end we need be remembered by only one: our Creator. If God remembers us, that’s all that matters. All we need to care about.

And we’ll go past 500 years to eternity.

The story on BBC:

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