Since 1979 we have lived in a house than stands on the spot where an older house once stood. On this property that God has loaned us, we have found and continue to find many artifacts from the past. Broken plows, old tools and pieces of ancient farm equipment often reveal themselves. (Many of these I find with my lawn mower blades.) I once found a pocket knife that I did not lose and the other day I found what looks like a ladies wedding band. All of these things are simple traces of lives long gone.
All around where I live are places where houses once stood and families once lived. If I use my imagination, I can see these houses still standing and smell the smoke that rises from their chimneys. Children play in the yard and trace chains rattle as daddy brings the mules in from the day’s plowing. Supper is on the table. You can almost smell the corn bread and pinto beans. These imaginary aromas are wafting traces of many yesterdays.
These houses are all gone now. But once they were filled with laughter and love. In these houses babies were made and born and loved. Families gathered around the kitchen table, homemade Christmas gifts were exchanged, and Easter eggs were hunted. Life was hard, but life was good because God was honored. Now, an occasional collapsed chimney is the only trace of the warmth and love found in those old houses.
Traces of the past remind us that while years come and go the Lord’s word is firmly fixed in Heaven. While children will grow up and families will change, we know that God’s faithfulness is for all generations. The names never stay the same on the title deed, but God has established the earth and it stands firm.
My footprints are being added to the many that have walked this ground before me. It won’t be long before I will follow their footsteps into eternity. As I walk I often pray that the traces I leave behind will point future generations to the God I love.
Douglas & Deborah Huff
From Down Where the Pavement Ends