A smell, a song, a laugh, a tangible item, a picture, a location, an activity, a dream, or a simple word sometimes triggers a memory that causes us to remember someone. Before I do any more writing on the gift of remembering, I want to take a quick minute to encourage you to FORGET things from your past that have already been forgiven. Some memories, specifically painful ones, can keep us down and hold us back when we are in bondage to them. To continue bringing up the past with those who’ve we’ve been deeply impacted by for the sake of holding something over them is wrong. Let forgiveness be simply that and let the past memories go that keep us from truly forgiving and forgetting. God gave us the gift of remembering and He only gives gifts that are good and perfect (James 1:17)
Now, onto the gift of remembering. Back in November were entering a Super Target and as we passed Starbucks, this cup caught my eye. I was instantly brought back to the memory of my grandparents– specifically my beloved grandfather who, every time I slept over, would bring my grandma and me tea shortly after I had joined them in their bed in the morning. I have not seen a cup that looked similar to it until that moment and my mind was flooded with sweet memories of him and that special time I shared with the two of them in the early morning after he would carefully pass me a cup of freshly made tea with just the perfect amount of cream and honey. With my birthday approaching, I gave a strong hint to my husband and I would love a set of those cups because they reminded me of my grandpa. We left Target that day, me with cart of Target bags and my husband with a Starbucks bag with a pair of these mugs! Every morning when I drink coffee out of this cup, I remember. He passed away when I was 14 years old, however, 20+ years later, I remember him– his smile, his laugh, his gentle spirit, his kindness, and our special times together. What a gift it is to remember those who have touched our lives in amazing ways. Lord, thank you for the gift of a memory to see and hear him so clearly in my memory!
Who do you remember in this moment? Can you see him or her? Can you hear him or her? Bask in that memory for a minute and know that it is a gift from the God, who knit you together perfectly, wonderfully and complex” (Psalm 139:13-14) with a mind that is able to capture a glimpse of that person who graced your life (no matter how long or short).
Christmastime can be a difficult season for those who have experienced loss. May we remember those who are experiencing grief or loneliness and offer them a piece of ourselves by way of a phone call, a note, a visit, a meal, or something else that says “I remember.” My cousin passed away in a car accident nearly 20 years ago when he was just 17. My aunt and uncle often say how much they appreciate when people mention his name: Brock. It comforts them to know that people have not forgotten this precious young man. When his name is mentioned, it invites conversation about him. No matter how much time has passed, you can be sure those who experienced loss have not forgotten. Let’s not either.
Lastly, let’s remember what Christmas is all about: Jesus. Remember Him! There are so many people searching for Him, whether they realize it or not. We went to the Mall of America this past Friday. Our daughters took $5 out of their piggy-banks and paper clipped it to this tag. On our way, we prayed that the Lord would show them someone to present this random gift to so that they could be reminded of Jesus. Two people went home that evening with a reminder that Jesus is a gift. He came to earth for no other reason than because He loved us. He gives us so many “just because” gifts — these December gift posts name just a few. Remember Him! Thank Him. Love Him. Share Him.