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The Memory Train
by louis gander
10/05/2009 / Salvation
Break out from the darkness. Come with me and get lost -
back in memories, in days of cold and snow -
where freezing winds whistled - but love warmed us all,
in treasured trust, around the wood stove, those many years ago.
I remember nursery rhymes and childhood games - firm discipline -
and shaking the strong rough hand of the working preacher.
I remember the new shiny shoes, new suit and a thin bow tie -
on my first day of school with flowers, and respect - for the teacher.
Remember spring rains and warm summer breezes, puffy white clouds
and scary dark ones? Bright flashes of lightning out the windows, we'd look.
And then the roar of thunder shortly followed so very loud.
Hiding under covers, I cowered in darkness - when the whole house shook.
And when a lie was told, the taste of soap-
Mama and me at the basement sink.
Respect for authority, lesson learned,
as she saved me deep from the shadowed brink.
We learned respect for others
in those good old days -
with love expressed so humbly,
in many, many ways.
Presents wrapped in color with paper's love,
to stay unopened under the lit Christmas tree -
not to be touched until that sacred time -
as excitement grew in our whole family, and me.
Though suspense held us captive,
and time seemed to freeze - and stand so still -
never moving - as a train at a station.
There we waited, and waited - and waited, for the thrill.
Oh, that bitter and horrible word 'patience' -
when focused on 'self' - was the most difficult thing to learn.
No minute rolls, microwaves, fast foods or drive-ups -
but that difficult place strengthened us where we should return.
Barefoot and poor, I did not expect very much.
But after the suspense and curiosity, beneath the wrapping and bow -
came the excitement of unwrapping a custom gift so discovered.
I'd let out a pressure of steam with a sigh, as I heard a distant whistle blow.
Mostly, I learned to love a peaceful love for others,
Gifts not made overseas and bought from a stores, I remember.
We learned a homemade joy - made with our very own hands -
that gave us each a lifetime of keepsakes to treasure.
Not instant self-gratification and self-indulgence which holds for a time,
a very, very short time as mere pleasure in the day -
but then is thrown in the trash to be burned with fire -
to perish - where so many good truths, wisdoms and customs, also decay.
Today, broken are plastic parts from an assembly line -
that work for a time and were made for 'whomever'.
Where presents with parts, sometimes numerous, break and vanish -
disappearing from our memories - lost and forgotten, forever.
For many, those days of old are not to be remembered -
for they are just plain, downright rotten.
Pain and sorrow, loneliness and hurt, emptiness and anger
that darken our character, are oftentimes best forgotten.
And just as darkness can never be removed from the shadow -
no dark soul can run from its past.
They cannot separate from their darkness a mere inch -
though running from the shadow of death, no matter how far, no matter how fast.
And from generation to generation, the darkness from sins shadows,
continue to follow, at every breath and gasp -
for those who will never, ever change -
nor escape its final grasp.
We weep and shed our tears for others -
as love abounds - for indeed God first loved us.
So too, we love others. Yet truth hurts,
so we cry too, in love, just as our Savior did - Jesus.
Thanks to our great culture, and the character
and the teaching of a many great men -
who cared strongly and who loved deeply, and with God's grace so abundant,
we do escape those shadows, as faith leads us into light once again.
Where love [for family, friends and neighbors, and respect for neighborhoods,
for government, and church, and God - by every man and wife] -
exceed power and money, [stock markets, retirement plans, portfolio's, lotto's, gambling, pleasure, and self] - there is life, and it's a good life.
My grandfather and my grandmother, my aunts and uncles,
my father and mother, my sisters and brothers, who cared completely,
as a firm unit, as a golden chain,
tightly and closely linked together, gave me.
So now as I think back - every tear that I shed,
is not from the sorrow, nor of the shame,
nor of any guilt - but rather thoughts
of great times - from whence we came.
So we remember well - our treasures, our thoughts, our friends -
of yesteryear. Those ties that bind -
and are never loosed, never lost, never taken -
but freely given to each other, in kind.
The tickets are free and plentiful. Jump aboard!
Remember the good times - and not the filth and grime.
The whistle blows again, at the hard, cold track of time.
Friction forgives as wheels spin, and this is the last time - the very last time.
Gone forever, the guilt of mistakes made -
for grace holds forgiveness with heavy nails,
for a humble creation with box cars of good fruit,
in the straight and narrow of those faithful rails.
Oh, 'father time' is stubborn. He doesn't wait.
It's his train and he decides when it leaves the station.
The wheels spin and spin, faster and faster -
the engine chugs and puffs, toward the colorful setting of the sun.
Many blackened souls are lost, just as dollars slip through fingers.
They continue to stand by, lingering in the shadows.
They watch as the train begins to leave the station - unable to repent, or forgive.
Pride holds fast throughout eternity. Many can only listen as the whistle blows.
'Father time' carries us, you and I on this train.
Our memories of each other don't flow through our fingers.
Oh no. Memories may fade but we fold our hands, thankful for each special time -
those joyous, precious memories, not forgotten, but remembered - lingers.
And we smile -
as we travel with Jesus -
with great respect for our Engineer.
Who will jump on board with us?
Respect time. Come out from the shadows now!
Come back to a culture long ago forgotten. Do not let yourself be bound.
Come with me and get lost - on the memory train - to remember together,
another time and place, love in grace, peace and harmony - forever found -
by the Engineer,
our precious Lord,
we welcome you...
Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NASB)
Remember God in Your Youth
"Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"
Copyright 2020 by louis gander.
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