And yet, graffiti on national monuments has been with us for quite some time. For instance, while renovating the Washington Monument in the early 1990’s, workers discovered graffiti dating from back in the 1800’s. Apparently, the markings in the lobby of the monument had been covered over when it was decorated at the turn of the century.
The graffiti was rediscovered when workers removed marble wainscoting as part of a year-long, $500,000 renovation which was completed in the early 1990’s.
The inscription they found, which can now be viewed by visitors to the monument, has quite a different tone from that usually found today. It reads simply: "Whoever is the human instrument under God in the conversion of one soul, erects a monument to his own memory more lofty and enduing (sic) than this." It is signed with the initials “BFB”.
To this day, no one knows who these initials represent, or who left the numerous other small drawings and 19th century dates on other walls. But irrespective of the author, the message is quite convicting.
In the totality of human history, few nations have achieved the status of the United States of America. And within the pantheon of American history, no one is held with higher esteem than George Washington, the father of our country.
For all his earthly endeavors, it is fitting that he is honored with such a monument today. Yet, even these accomplishments are temporal. As such, they cannot conceivably compare to the eternal impact one can have in helping some wayward soul find his or her way home to their heavenly Father.
The New Testament Letter of James (chapter 5, verses 19 and 20) tells us this:
19My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
It is good that each of us attempts to make a difference in this world. It is far better that we try to make a difference for all eternity. For truly, this is the monumental matter at hand!
SOURCES: A web search will reveal multiple news stories from a variety of news organizations covering the recent graffiti in our nation’s capital.
For an article on the 1994 discovery of the above graffiti, see: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1994-07-16/news/9407150685_1_washington-monument-century-marble.
SEE ALSO: https://bible.org/illustration/1800s-graffiti-found-monument and http://www.dailyintheword.org/content/there-god-heaven.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/james/5.htm.