Yikes! My hard drive crashed! I thought it only happened to other people. Guess I’ve just been lucky. My first devastating thought was I've lost everything. No, just the past, but ALL of it: Whatever I have written to anyone, whatever I published, whatever I was in the process of writing, the unfinished, all the research and editing. How could I rewrite it all? I've virtually lost my memory!
After my blood pressure began to come back to normal, hope peeked its head above the imagined chaos and I began thinking more clearly. Maybe it was all still “there” somewhere and was wisely backed up by someone looking after me. Perhaps it was retrievable? Perchance I will see it again?
I spent (or wasted?) the next three days in “writers withdrawal,” staying out of my writing studio so I wouldn't grieve over the empty place beside my computer monitor where they had taken away the heavy, dead, black hard drive box with my “brain” to do an autopsy on it to answer the above speculations. My computer lay dark and silent as my fingers tingled with longing for the touch of the keyboard.
I prayed, I dared to hope. O Lord, how long will I have to wait to be notified either of the technological prognosis of partial recovery from what might have been a “near death experience” or the somber notification of the funeral and mental anguish and grief for what was no more, what was lost forever?
Meanwhile, back in the world of sanity and realism, to pass the time I began to muse about this ethereal aspect of memory loss in its various forms. I heard it said, “Your memories make you who you are!”
Not so fast! Is it a given that when a person’s memory begins to fade or disappears down Memory Lane, or wherever minds wander away and get lost, that you are less of who you are? Or that you are no longer who you were? That you are heading toward being marginalized or forgotten by others or less valued in your personhood? Does dementia or Alzheimer’s take away your worth in the sight of God? That all that transpired in your past which you can no longer remember doesn't count when the Eternal Records are open in Heaven?
That can't be true! God forgets nothing—except our confessed, forgiven, absolved, and “cast into the depths of the sea” sins. Those He “remembers no more.” Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. Who we are, what we have become, and what we have done in our brief lifetime is forever etched on God's memory and will be rewarded whether we can remember all or none of it.
Diminishing of memory is subtle and sneaks up on us ever so stealthily. First, we might start having “senior moments” when names of familiar people or places or things begin to escape us. Then we can't recall what we had for breakfast. (That's not important anyway, is it?) All the above is not necessarily the sign of a disease—simply a part of normal advancing mortality.
To use some computer analogy, it might only be that through the years we accumulated so much in our mental “hard disk” that our brains are in overload and we are just “deleting” some of the “rubbish” or trivia we don't need anymore. Perhaps it's a matter of making more room for important information of the Eternal kind. We may just need “rebooting,” giving more attention to what Scripture calls “the renewing of our minds.” Or to pay better attention to our nutrition and ramp up our quality or quantity of sleep. In any case, our memory doesn't suddenly disappear into thin air to be gone forever.
For some of us who are not experiencing noticeable memory slippage—YET—let's be understanding, patient, loving, and forbearing with those who seem to be headed in that direction. They still are who they always were, precious to God and to us. And let's express our appreciation to the Lord and say “Thanks for our memory,” for our eternal spirit given by God when He first breathed the breath of life into us. In the presence of God in Heaven, in His Storehouse guarded by angels, all that we are and have done and said is kept to be recalled and accounted for—and rewarded. God forgets nothing, even if we do. Nothing in Heaven crashes so completely or fades so elusively that it is irretrievably lost.
THANKS FOR GOD'S MEMORY
It's incredible how much I've forgotten
although when I did it
said it, saw it
wrote it, heard it
all was fresh and plain and clear
and I never had a fear
that I wouldn't be able to recall it
Some things I'd rather forget:
unpleasantness and failures
hurts to me and mine
and the pain I've given others
my sins, open or secret
and etched indelibly
in the storage disks of my mind.
MAJESTIC MASTER OF ALL SYSTEMS
IN HEAVEN AND EARTH, ALMIGHTY GOD:
You are far beyond my word processor
which conveniently and without error
ALL that I program into it
whether good or bad, trivial or trash
glittering gems of eloquence
as well as typos or blatant errata
even untruths and gibberish.
O DIVINE WORD PROCESSOR GOD
I esteem and appreciate
the compassion and mercy
of Your awesome memory process
to remember no more my transgressions
placed beneath the Cross.
I bless You for their loss for eternity
in the depths of the sea
removed from your monitor
as far as the east from the west!
Undeserving and unworthy
I applaud Your infallible memory
to remember forever
to record perfectly
and reward in eternity
my deeds done and words spoken
in Jesus' name
cups of cold water given
visits to the sick and the prisoner
an inn and care provided
for a battered one
the perfume of my praise
lavishly anointing Your feet.
MY THANKS FOR YOUR MEMORY!
So it came to pass that on the morning of the fourth day, there on my desk stood my new, slick, black hard drive by the side of my monitor—renewed, transformed, protected from viruses, plugged in, upgraded in its “inner man” to the latest version of Windows 10 with new technology guaranteed never to die the same kind of death evermore. “Resurrected,” as it were!
Am I doing a happy dance or what?
My past memory ALL retrieved, recovered, rescued, saved, no longer mourned, now rejoiced over. I'm thrilled and impatient and eager to resume the unfinished and pursue new directions—because Someone Eternal, God, was looking after me with divine oversight, and someone human and lovingly thoughtful (computer tech son Rick) backed up his mother's right-brain verbal magnum opuses and docs, files, manuscripts, emails et al.
Sing Alleluia to the Lord!
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