Lessons From Normandy


Lest we forget….

I have followed John Eldredges writing and devotionals for several years.
It was from John that I received three principles that help me to have the right perspective about this world we live in.
1. Things are not what they seem
2. We are at war
3. I have a part to play on this war.

Recently John and his family visited the historic battlefields along the beaches of Normandy France.
It was here that the overthrow and eventual defeat of the great evil in the world at that time began.
I won’t share all that he wrote in regard to his time there.
(you can follow the link to read the article in its entirety http://andsonsmagazine.com/29/normandie-pilgrim-war#.WXtbV9YUjhc.gmail)
I would like to share three takeaways from his visit.
1. Lest we forget.
Nearly all of the monuments across Normandy in remembrance of valiant moments and noble sacrifice carry the same wording “Lest We Forget”.
What a tragedy it would be for the world to lose this story. Lest we forget clarified for me why Jesus established the sacraments of bread and wine with, “Do this in remembrance of me”.
We forget far to easy even the greatest of heroic sacrifices, and when we do, we lose perspective and orientation.

2. Evil is entrenched and belligerent
Having gained a foothold evil does not just let you have it back without a fight.
Hitler knew the invasion would come but he did not know when or where.
So he built his famous Atlantic Wall a string of coastal defenses batteries mortars artillery and gun and placements manned by thousands of German troops from the top of Norway to Spain.
The staggering tonnage of bombs the  Allies dropped on the wall did very little damage.
It had to be overthrown forcefully, intimately, by soldiers in  close proximity.
An important reminder when you set out to find breakthrough in your own life or those you help in the world around you.

3. The overthrow of evil is costly.
As I sat under a tree looking out at the cemetery, and beyond it, Omaha Beach and the sea, I was suddenly struck by the imagery before me. The markers are not tombstones they are crosses and stars of David.
Thousands of images of Calvary could not have been more appropriate; thousands of Calvary moments took place during the Normandy invasion, which was the beginning of the end of the Nazi terror.
So many moments of sacrifice
How many Calvary moments must follow Calvary until our work here is done? I thought to myself.
A moment of silence in that quiet place,  followed by this thought:
No servant is above his master
John 15:20
This was not a depressing thought it was orienting.
Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends John 15:13
I think of all the words of Jesus these are the most powerful;  he certainly followed through with everything he could give.
How beautiful and appropriate that this is the verse etched in the monuments at the center of the American cemetery at Omaha Beach.
Such honor. Bravery. Selflessness.
And so we are called.
After all what do we think this life is about?

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