|Image by B. Fröberg on Flickr|
Long ago, in the middle of this muddy, dirt-stained, red soil stood a very functional railroad. Quadejah could see what she thought were the remains of loops of rusty brown metal. The stones scattered about were still the same — white and brown stones dispersed like sand, both to the left and right of the railroad. She stood in the middle, where the vertical lines intersected with the horizontal. Bending down, she dug her hand into the earthy mud, picked up a couple of stones, and gently rubbed them together.
She smiled. Once upon a time, she was sixteen. Running wild and free through these Southern grasslands with a group of three. One was a red-head, her best friend, Kaitlyn. And the other was a young man named Ali. He had really bushy afro hair and never combed it, no matter how much they begged or laughed. To be honest, back then they had no cares in life, only high spirits. They used to come here every weekend when there was no school. She remembered they would sit at the far end of the wall holding hands and playing Truth or Dare. Most times, they would choose "truth" and tell stories until it was really dark and past time for supper.
The wall. She looked up and saw that great wall of old. All the memories came flooding back. One day they had dipped their right hands in three different colors of paint they'd carried from papa's backyard and dared themselves to etch their fingerprints on the wall. She got up and started running toward the wall.
"Ten steps to the right, seven slippers high, and three butterflies left," she said out loud, tracing her fingers up and to the left.
When she saw those dirty fingerprints again it was like a window opened from her heart and she started laughing like a child until tears streamed down her face and her nose began to trickle.
"Ma'am," she heard a voice calling from behind her. She had forgotten he was standing there, watching her. He must be very amused by now. "It's almost time for the meeting," he said.
"Oh," she whispered. She didn't want to leave the graffiti wall just yet, but as CEO of Que&Co., she had a lot of important matters to attend to and critical decisions to make today. She smiled, nodding to her driver. "Thanks, you can get the car started now. I'll be right behind you."
She looked up at the wall again. She felt very satisfied, happy to have visited her young memories once again. A deep sigh escaped from her lips. Well, the stones will always be here. The fingerprints will always be etched ten steps to the right, seven slippers high, and three butterflies left. All she needed to do was come back as many times as she wanted. All she had to do was remember.
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"And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “...Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." Joshua 4: 1-3, 21-24
We live in a society where the hustle and bustle of our careers and the dreams of our future can cause us to forget the goodness of the Lord. Many of us have seen testimony after testimony, but yet in searching for the next level we forget. Today, God wants us to remember the graffiti on the wall.
If He was with you in the past, He is with you today, and if you let Him, He will be with you in your future. He is, indeed, steadfast in love. An unfailing God. There's nothing worse than a day without Him. Doing things by ourselves is so much more difficult and chaotic.
Don't forget the Lord and what He has done in your life. As you move forward in life, remember the stones & graffiti of the goodness of the Lord throughout your life up until now, and seek instead to put God first higher than all your desires. By putting Him first, He will grant you so many more joyful memories. God is faithful. Praise God!