Tag Archives: memories

Reflections and Memories

Today we took my car in for a service. The official agent for Chevrolet is Williams Hunt, which is now located in Fourways. It took us just over an hour to get there this morning, with peak-time traffic leg-shackled by an outage of power to robots. We ended up spending time in Cedar Square which is outside of our usual neighborhood, sustaining ourselves with breakfast after our long and tiring journey.

We sat outside a restaurant called Smoke Daddy and I was struck by the reflections in the window.

The only thing “real” in this picture is the portion of a motorbike in the bottom right corner. The rest of the picture is made up of reflections and, in some cases, reflections of reflections.

It struck me that our memories are something like this. Reflections can be distorted by the position of the light, the integrity of the glass doing the reflecting and our point of view. Likewise our memories can be distorted by our emotions, our subjective points of view and other circumstances which can magnify or reduce their importance.

On occasion, my children have recalled incidents from their childhood which I remember totally differently. I am convinced my view is the accurate one, and they are just as sure of the integrity of theirs. The truth might be neither.

God knows that our memories are just as fallible as any other part of our humanity. In various places in the Bible He exhorts us to “remember the Lord our God.” In some cases He gave His people memory aids. In Joshua 4, when Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River, which parted for them, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.” (verse 3 ESV)

This was to be a memorial down the generations so the people would remember what God had done for them.

In the New Testament, Jesus arranged the same kind of memory aid when He instituted Holy Communion. “...the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'” (1 Corinthians 11:23b – 24 ESV) He did the same with the cup.

Many of the Psalms have a certain structure. They start in depression or despair. Then the psalmist calls to mind what God has done for him in the past. He remembers God’s goodness and power. The Psalm ends with a strong statement of trust in the Lord.

Psalm 77 starts, “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.” Then verses 11 and 12 read, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”

If it is good enough for the psalmists, it is good enough for me. One of my memory aids is my journal. Sometimes it is encouraging just to look back and realize how God has been at work in my life. It might be an idea to take 12 smooth stones and write on each some event in my life where God was definitely involved. My stones would include how I met my husband, how God provided our cottage and how my back was healed.

My Prayer

Father God, I have a tendency to forget Your goodness to me. I know my memory is fallible. I get distracted by everyday life and even the rumours all around me. Please help me develop a habit of actively and purposely remembering Your mighty works in my life and Your many special gifts to me. Amen.

The Unicorn Granny and Other Memories

Christmas has come and gone and I’m now in this strange doldrum era between Christmas and New Year.

My Christmas memories of 2021 consist of little things. My youngest South African granddaughter (7) secretly made Christmas hats for all her family. She cut and folded paper plates, covered them with silver or gold paper, used her pocket money to buy little Christmas bows and adorned them according the the colour preferences of the recipients.

Mine was magic. It turned me into a unicorn granny – a grannicorn?

I will remember the lovely Zoom call we had with all our children, scattered around the world, from New Zealand to Russia…

and the Christmas message I got from a friend I haven’t seen or had contact with in over five years.

I will remember singing old songs at the tops of our voices while the grandchildren queried the meanings of the lyrics.

Then there are the things I probably won’t forget, even if I try:-, Waking up on Christmas morning with a headache and feeling of nausea and deciding not to risk church in person, packing a couple of Christmas nibbles for a friend and finding one container of Christmas mince crumbles had gone mouldy, scrubbing the burned bits off the gammon because I had allowed the water/wine mix to boil dry.

Good, quirky or unfortunate, these are some of this year’s Christmas memories.

So I would like to give thanks to God for all His blessings. For the family He has given us, for technology, enabling us to video-chat with those far away and receive messages from old friends, for His material gifts, enabling us to cook a special meal and give gifts to each other.

Most of all I would like to give thanks to God for His great gift of Christ. God became man and lived among us. The world will never be the same again, and since I’ve met Him, I will never be the same again.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger telling the world how bad it was. He came to help. To put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17 MSG)

My Prayer

Lord, all I can say in the face of Your great love is, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Amen

Lockdown Day 27 Remember Me

This morning my normal YouTube daily devotion was nowhere to be found. Instead I read a chapter of Rebecca Barlow-Jones’ book, “Dayvotions for Grandmothers.” She reminisced about her grandmother and other grandmothers and what the children remembered of them after their death.

Memory is a wonderful thing when the memories are happy. There are two places in the Bible that spring to mind when somebody asked somebody else to remember them.

Joseph said to Pharaoh’s cupbearer as he was about to be reinstated in Pharaoh’s household, “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” (Genesis 40:14 NIV)

The cupbearer forgot Joseph for more than two years. I don’t blame him. Who wants to remember the worst time of your life?

The other occasion is when the criminal crucified next to Jesus said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”(Luke 23:42 NKJV)

Jesus’ gracious reply reverberates down history. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43 NIV)

All of this got me to thinking. What will my grandchildren remember about me when I am gone?

I doubt that they will remember that I wrote a blog every day during lockdown or that I sewed thirty masks for the poor, or that I wrote a story every month for the writer’s circle. They probably won’t remember whether the house was clean or tidy as much as my reaction when they messed or untidied the house.

I hope they’ll remember doing science experiments with Granny, or making decoupage coasters for their Mom’s birthday during lockdown, when they couldn’t just go shopping with their father to choose something for her. I hope they’ll remember baking and getting to lick all the bowls and utensils before washing them (inexpertly) in the sink. I hope they’ll remember I loved Jesus and that He was the most important person in my life.

Children, remember me. I love you all very much.