I grew up in a church full of traditions. One came into play when a beloved family member or friend died. Often a church pew or possibly a painting in a hallway showed up not longer after with a brass plate affixed: “In Memory of . . .” The deceased’s name would be etched there, a shining reminder of a life passed on. I always appreciated those memorials. And I still do. Yet at the same time they’ve always given me pause because they are static, an inanimate object, in a very literal sense something “not alive.” Is there a way to add an element of “life” to the memorial?

Following the death of his beloved friend Jonathan, David wanted to remember him and to keep a promise to him (1 Samuel 20:12–17). But rather than simply seek something static, David searched and found something very much alive—a son of Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:3). David’s decision here is dramatic. He chose to extend kindness (v. 1) to Mephibosheth (v. 6) in the specific forms of restored property, “all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul,” and the ongoing provision of food and drink, “you will always eat at my table” (v. 7). As we continue to remember those who have died with plaques and paintings, we could also recall David’s example and extend kindness to those still living.

Who has died but you don’t want to forget? Consider David’s beautiful example of a living memorial of kindness. Who might that someone still living be, and what might a specific kindness to them look like?

 


Source: Our Daily Bread