Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)
TITLE: Oak City Revisited
By M. R. Davenport
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It’s nearly 9:30 pm. It has been 2 very busy weeks with less than one to go. We’ve been all over. The Arch in St. Louis. To Graceland. To Branson. Down to the bottom of Marvel Cave and back up. But yesterday had to be one of the most…mmm…difficult locations so far. Maybe difficult isn’t really the word for it. “Tough” might be a better word. I don’t know.
I remember the day that the news reported what had happened in Oklahoma City. Everything just kind of stopped. We lived in central Missouri at the time and I was listening to the radio at work. I looked at it like it was malfunctioning. A few weeks later we were in Oklahoma City to visit relatives. We‘re visiting the same family members now. This time of course, the building isn’t sitting there about to collapse waiting for the rescue teams to complete their work.
We wondered around the place where the building stood for about 45 minutes yesterday. The Memorial that stood in it’s place was beautiful and appropriate. There was a large delegation of people representing the Jewish Holocaust Survivors. This was the beginning of ceremonies commemorating the 10th anniversary of the bombing.
There were speeches and prayers and beautiful music. The day was lustrous and picturesque. The Memorial was a little more than could be described, but well thought out and should be seen by any who can. I will never forget the day I came to visit the remains of horror that man heaped upon man. When one man, however, insists upon terror, five will work to mend. The people of Oklahoma proved that.
There are some who will say that remembering the past will only prolong the pain. I can’t completely disagree with that thinking. There are some who will say that the only good to come of the past is experience for the future. I suppose that is often true as well. I am certain that many will come to the site of this terrible event and weep as they haven’t wept for ten years.
Jesus said do this in remembrance of me. He was talking about the ceremony of communion. To remember the past and strive to gain from it. Jesus wasn’t teaching us to remember His death so much as to remember His sacrifice. To accept it. After all, Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb they buried Him in, He arose and walked freely among the living. As He does in Spirit today. He’s here beside me, guiding me, helping me to make better decisions, helping me to love the unlovable, changing me into someone who looks remarkably like Him. Yes, I have a long way to go and need to listen better than I do, but He’s patient.
I began this note over three years ago at my wife‘s family’s house in Mustang, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City has grown from the disaster that struck down town. Grown in many ways, except one. They didn’t grow bitter. It’s a beautiful town and I love visiting there. There’s no anniversary coming for this or any particular reason that I chose to finish and send it in. It was a beautiful memory and I found it on the computer incomplete. So I submit it for your approval.
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