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A Not-So-Ordinary Park

How God will use you, today, in someone else's story?

Wall of memorial plaques at Postman's Park in London.

It’s hard to believe that summer will be officially over in a few days. In fact, it’s been so chilly here this past week in New York that I think we might skip fall and go straight into winter. Eek!

Luckily, though, there are a few summertime memories I’ll be holding onto when it comes time to take out my dreaded winter coat and boots. A wondrous trip to the beach. The U.S. Open. And, of course, my visit to a Postman’s Park.

I visited this hidden gem of a park in June while on vacation in London with my parents. I’d first heard about it from a Guideposts co-worker, months earlier, and I was determined to find it on my travels. After all, Postman’s Park houses a bit of a secret–a small memorial built in 1900 called the G.F. Watts’s Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice.

I had directions to the park on my phone, but we took a few wrong turns along the way.

“Where have you taken us?” my dad said. I mumbled something about having the situation under control. Then I stopped to read a sign on a wrought-iron gate sandwiched between a church and another building, hoping for clues.

“Oh,” I said, turning gleefully to my parents. “This is it!”

Beyond the gate was a lush green park, deserted except for three other people–a strikingly different scene from the photo-snapping crowds of tourists we’d encountered at nearby St. Paul’s Cathedral.

We headed straight for the Watts memorial, which is made up of 54 ceramic plaques honoring “everyday heroes” who died trying to rescue people in danger.  

I hopped from one plaque to another, reading the amazing accounts documented on the memorial. I couldn’t get enough. One of my favorites remembered a brave soul named William Freer Lucas:

Plaque in London's Postman's Park memorial for William Freer Lucas who saved a child

It just blew me away. These so-called ordinary people didn’t know it–they never saw their name immortalized on a memorial–but they’d transformed someone else’s life and inspired countless others with just one selfless act.

The sign explaining the memorial summed it up well by quoting John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

I was standing in front of a wall of everyday heroes. But, also, miracles.

What a powerful message. That deep within us, even on our most ordinary days, we all have the potential to be miracles to one another. It may not be something worthy of a plaque. But who knows how God will use us in someone else’s story? Even the smallest act of kindness could lead to some pretty big wonder for another person.

That’s something I’ll keep with me even on the coldest, dreariest days of the season ahead.  

What about you? What wondrous moments stick out from your summer?

Plus, learn more about Postman’s Park and the Watts Memorial here

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