Posts Tagged ‘remembering’

Last week I was able to talk to a sweet lady as she waited for surgery.  I noticed an accent and inquired about her home country.  It was a simple question really.  But her answer will long live in my heart.

She was a baby when WWII began.  One night when she was two years old her daddy left home to purchase some milk for her.  He never returned and they discovered that he had been arrested by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz where he was executed.  As I held her hand I was riveted to her words as she unfolded events of her life.  The story of her childhood was filled with pain, abandonment, abuse, and terror.  It broke my heart.

Suddenly she said, “I’m sorry.  I am talking too much.”  I quickly assured her that she was not and thanked her for sharing her life story with me.  I told her how deeply it had touched me.  She leaned up on one arm and, dropping her voice, said in broken English, “Do you know some people don’t believe this really happened?  The Holocaust.”  I knelt down to where we were eye to eye and I called her by name and said, “Please hear me my friend.  I believe it happened.  And I am so sorry how it hurt you and your family.”  She began to weep.  After 70 years it still makes her cry.  I also said, “Please don’t stop telling your story because if people forget that the Holocaust happened we are at risk of letting it happen again.”

She squeezed my hand tightly and said, “We just can’t forget.”

It is beyond my ability to understand how a group of people can target another group of people and incite such unspeakable atrocities.  It is also beyond my ability to understand how people can actually say that the Holocaust didn’t happen.

Denial.  Forgetfulness.  They can be dangerous things.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was also executed by the Nazis when he was only thirty-nine years old, said “Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God…”

How can we EVER forget God?  Talk about another atrocity!  How can I ever forget how good God is to me?  How much he blesses me – even in dark and difficult places of life.

It strikes me how important it is to also keep sharing the stories about God’s precious work in people’s lives – in days gone by (Hebrews 11) – in my life today.  We must keep sharing the stories of God.

Because we just can’t forget.


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