My grandson’s little body curled up against mine, as close as he could possibly get. A stack of dusty boxes sat in the corner of the room, treasures waiting to be discovered. I carefully opened the first box and pulled out the top album... the musty smell of the yellow pages overpowered my senses. I sneezed and took a sip of water. Newspaper clippings were slipping out the sides and as I carefully pushed them back into place, I began sharing the story of Great, Great Uncle Mark.
Little Johnny laughed alongside me as I told stories of Mark in his childhood; stories of him forgetting his lunch pail and begging corners from each classmate’s sandwich to make his own. Johnny commented that he and Mark would have been good friends. I looked down at my sweet grandson and smiled. ‘Yes. Yes, you would have been best friends.’
Both of our eyes filled with tears and I comforted my grandson as I showed him pictures of sad times and recounted how Mark had handled each moment. Mark’s school days, marriage, and own children soon filled my living room. We were well into the 4th album before we even considered taking a break.
‘Grandma?’ Johnny looked up at me as he finished his slice of lemon cake and wiped the milk from his chin. ‘Yes, Johnny?’ ‘…Who else can I meet in those boxes?’ I smiled. ‘Well, let’s see…There’s a few more surprises about your Great, Great Uncle Mark…and if my memory serves me right, there will also be albums of Susan, Nathan, Anthony, and Hazel in those boxes.’ Johnny’s eyes shown bright. ‘Grandma! I want to meet Hazel!’ ‘Ok, sweet boy’ my eyes twinkled and I couldn’t hide my delight as I looked through the boxes to find my own albums. This boy would be in for a treat at the end of Hazel’s story when he discovered that I am Hazel.
We can all relate to Johnny’s story – opening old albums and trying to connect the stories and people into our own lives. The excitement of seeing a picture that resembles us and imagining what it must have been like to be friends with the people who were written about in the pages.
On 10/18, Paula took us a little further back into our family history – back into the bible days. She taught us how to read the stories of fishermen, farmers, and mighty warriors – and connect with them like looking through old photo albums. Paula showed us that although the clothing, culture, and language may be different - we can still learn so much from the struggles and joys of each person. We learned how, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can connect to these stories just as much as we can connect to our own.
Enjoy going on your family journey as you listen to Paula’s message and then open your own Bible to discover the ‘characters’ of our youth were real people who we can still learn from today. Facebook Live is also available from Wednesday, October 18, 2017.