Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection is from Senior Writer/Editor Larry Livingston.
When I was growing up, my family, like many, would visit the graves of deceased relatives on Memorial Day. As a child that didn’t mean much to me. I never knew any of these people and I had no sense of connection to them. They were just names and dates on tombstones.
That changed as I got older and began experiencing the passing of people I loved. Today, when I visit the graves of my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles — and, as time goes by, a growing number of friends and contemporaries — I reflect on the significance they held for me. I think of particular chapters in my life and I reflect on the relationships that helped make me who I am.
I also reflect on the sacrifices that family members made. I think about my grandfather, a kid who’d never been away from rural Kansas, thrust onto a French battlefield in World War I. I think of my dad, who was a prisoner of war in World War II, and how that experience changed the trajectory of his life. Though I never experienced what they experienced, those realities also became part of the fabric of my life.
At Unbound, we reflect on the relationships that make our community what it is, and on this Memorial Day we remember with gratitude those who’ve gone before us. We remember our founders and the faith that gave birth to this outreach. We remember sponsored friends, some taken tragically and too soon, who continue to inspire and guide us. We remember staff, sponsors and benefactors of all kinds whose generous commitment endures to bless and sustain us.
God of the ages, you for whom past, present and future are one, look upon us in this moment and bless us with holy awareness. May we understand how much those who’ve gone before us have loved us, and how much our love will mean to those who follow us. Help us to be, now and always, in the process of becoming our best selves, that we may honor the sacred memory of our beloved dead, be a blessing for the living and forever glorify your holy name. Amen