Do you ever think of your memory as a gift? I’m not sure I ever have – until, that is, I met an elderly gentleman whose wife had advanced Alzheimer’s disease. He became ill, you see, and found himself a patient in the hospital. Having no family in the area, his worry over who would care for and keep his confused wife safe kept his anxiety at a level very difficult to manage while he was hospitalized. “To death to us part, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad…….” If you ever want to see what that vow really looks like – talk to a couple who have been married for more than five decades. They know a little something about that. Heck, they know a little something about a whole lot of somethings, and we’re just plain old stupid if we don’t try to glean a little wisdom from those somethings they have!
Anyways, back to this little old man who cared for his confused wife. She was just the sweetest little thing. She hadn’t a clue what year it was, where she was, or how she got where she was. What she did remember was the night they met, their wedding day, and the vows she took. And she knew she loved her husband and that holding his hand made her feel safe and loved. In fact, it was the only thing that comforted her. Yes, she still remembered him – what a gift!
And it finally dawned on me. My very own memory is a gift, and so is yours. Over and over God tells us to remember. When someone we know loses their memory, we grieve for them, yet I can’t tell you the last time I thanked God that I still have mine! (Although I have some family members who might argue with me on that one!)
More importantly….. what do I do with that memory? This. This is my ponder tonight.
What do I remember? What do I choose to remember? Do I remember things accurately? Do I remember offenses so that I can hold them against someone who has hurt me? Or, do I choose to remember how much I care about someone? Do I choose to share and ponder over memories that remind me of good things? Or do I choose to focus on memories that hurt?
God tells us all through scripture to remember Him and to remember what He has done. He is constantly telling us to remember all sorts of things – constantly! Our memories are a gift from Him (and for Him!) Even His Mother Mary remembered things – and treasured and pondered them in her heart. And the closer we get to Christmas this year, the more I pray that my grandchildren remember that the reason we celebrate is because Christ came to earth to live the life we could not live, and die the death we could not die – just for us! I hope that this is what they always first remember at Christmas – before Rudolf, before Frosty, and certainly before Santa Claus!
I’m thinking tonight about good things I remember. I’m not going to misuse the gift of my memory God gave me to remember things He would prefer I forget. That’s not what He intended the gift of my memory for, and I certainly have plenty of good times and people and things to remember, and ponder over.
What about you? What memories do you ponder? Are they accurate? What do you do with them? And most importantly – do they bring glory to God?
Thank you, Robin, for a great discussion tonight about the gift of a memory. I always love spending time with you!
“I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,” 2 Peter 1:13