Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Keepsakes


Bronzed baby shoes! Does anyone do that anymore? Though hard to read, my name and birthdate are painted in gold along the toes of the stiff, preserved baby shoes in the picture. Way back in 1954, I wore those shoes as I learned to walk. At the time, they were supple, white leather.

After I outgrew the shoes, my grandmother followed the custom of the time and sent them away to be preserved. Though the company that bronzed my shoes are probably no longer in operation, The Bronzery continues that tradition today.

Why have a baby’s shoes bronzed? According to familytree.com, part of the reason is because the little shoes evoke nostalgia. Looking at the shoes reminds parents of when their child was small. The bronzed shoes freeze a special moment in time, and make parents think about when their baby took his or her very first steps—an obviously memorable milestone! A pair of bronzed baby shoes instantly becomes a keepsake and family heirloom.

Any keepsake—a ring, a flag, a photograph, a seashell, a pair of bronzed shoes, etc.—can help us recall noteworthy moments we might otherwise rarely take the time to think about. Life is busy for all of us. Current responsibilities tend to crowd out everything else in our minds, so a physical reminder of an important, past event is a good thing.

God often used keepsakes to help His people remember what He had done for them—tassels on garments (Numbers 15:39-41), 12 stones from the middle of the Jordon River (Joshua 4:1-9), the rainbow (Genesis 9:1-17), the Passover Festival (Exodus 12:1-13), and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29) are just a few examples.

For many Christians today, a cross serves as a memento of the most significant event in all of time and history. Wall hangings, carvings, jewelry, and other cross d├ęcor have been crafted to remind us of the price Jesus paid for the forgiveness of our sins.

Pictured is one of my favorite crosses, a gift from a parishioner when we moved from one pastorate to another. The same man had fashioned a huge version of this cross for the gymnasium of our church where, for generations to come, it will draw their focus to Jesus, whether while playing basketball, enjoying a meal, or participating in worship.

Just as bronzed baby shoes are the catalyst for a story of first steps, keepsakes of faith present an opportunity for us to share with others what God has done in our lives. What is one of your favorite keepsakes of your faith? What is the story behind it?

Be encouraged!
Pam


 ©2018 Pamela D. Williams