This Memorial Day we remember all of those men and women who bravely have sacrificed their lives in various wars throughout our history so that you and I are able to live in this Land of Freedom.
It was a spring morning in 1866, just after the Civil War that had devastated the South. A group of Southerners did something quite extraordinary. They marched down the streets of what was left of their town to a cemetery.
There they decorated the graves of the soldiers — ALL THE GRAVES OF THE SOLDIERS, BOTH UNION SOLDIERS AS WELL AS CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS.
The mothers and daughters and widows had buried their dead. NOW THEY BURIED THEIR HATRED. THE TIME FOR HEALING HAD COME. IT WAS THE FIRST MEMORIAL DAY!
Now 155 years later, we observe a national holiday with our family and friends. But we have forgotten how we got here and what today really means. So many in our land do not want to bury their hatred toward one another. They want it to fester and to destroy our democracy. So many people do not want to “bind up the nation’s wounds” as President Lincoln called for in 1865.
Have you ever wondered why Memorial Day is marked in May? Its date doesn’t recall some historic battle. Or the start of some war. Or the signing of an armistice. Why, then, in May?
For a very practical reason. Because it is a time when flowers bloom. Flowers with which to decorate graves. A flower does not think about competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms! As Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow.” (Matt 6:28)
What hatred in YOU toward your fellow Americans is festering this Memorial Day and does not want to be buried?
WHEREVER GOD PLANTS YOU, BLOOM WITH GRACE!