Remembering is active. Sorting through the boxes, files, junk drawers, and sealed black garbage bags in your mind is like cleaning out your garage. It’s usually fairly easy to pick up the larger labeled containers and organize them neatly on the driveway, but as soon as you open a box, well that might just lead you down a rabbit hole that may take some time to escape. We tend to think of remembering as something that happens to us rather than something we do. Sometimes, like this morning, that may be the case. I got a text from my sister as I was getting myself and my children ready. Although not related by blood, we have been friends for more than 30 years, and so, she is family. The text was a picture with a brief explanation. She had been dusting and happened to pick up her old yearbook from middle school. It was a special yearbook because I had gotten for her and had everyone sign it in the hopes that she would soon be returning. That she would be able to, was not a given. So tucked between the pages was a longing for my absent friend, a hope for her eventual return, and wrapped in each signature and note was the active remembrances of people who were holding on to someone, willing her to return. I had even had my mother sign her yearbook, and this was the snapshot she sent this morning.
Mom’s habit of adding “Miss America ’42” jumped out at me. It was a small thing, but it caused the tears to jump to my eyes and wait at attention for the wave of nostalgia to pass. It was our joke. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She did not. I hung her picture on my wall and tucked it in my books. She thought she had bushy hair and four eyes. I told her every day how ravishingly gorgeous I thought her to be until finally she acquiesced and took on the mantle of “Miss America” for me and added a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor by adding the year -1942. Sometimes, remembering one thing opens the floodgates that allow a rush of other memories to swirl around the recesses of our mind. That’s what this memory did for me.
Remembering – a quick internet search brought up a list of 66 times the Bible talks about remembering. Mom was 66 when she died, and that got me thinking about what else I needed to remember. The verses touch on God’s remembering his promises to us; His commands to remember Him; His promise to remember the needy; our failures in remembering His law; but, all of these have one thing in common, God’s promise to remember us. How blessed we are to serve a God who does remember – not like our human minds that forget the important things, but a perfect memory that remembers His plans for us, His purpose for us, His promises to us, even when we struggle to remember Him, and I am grateful that, “He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations.”(Psalm 105:8)