Posted on June 11, 2013
It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was sitting in the living room watching tv. My grandfather sat across from me, staring at me strangely. Occasionally, he would ask me questions like, “Are you lost?” or ” Do you need to go home now?” I was only 8 or 9 at the time, and I mostly just thought he was teasing me. I remember he finally got up and left me alone while he wandered the neighborhood asking neighbors if they had lost a little girl.
It was shortly after this that our family learned that my grandfather had Alzheimers. It was really frightening for me growing up to watch someone I loved slowly lose his memory. It impacted me and definitely left a mark on my life in different ways.
I was reflecting on this whole experience the other day at church when Gideon, our pastor, shared this clip about a couple whose husband would have lapses of amnesia.
I thought the story was so beautiful. The part that totally got me was when he shared about how when he first came home he said, “I knew I could trust you by the look in your eyes. I knew that that’s where I should be.” The man had zero recollection of anything in his life, but he knew just by looking at this woman that he could trust her.
As I’ve been sitting with these stories for the last couple of weeks, my husband, Eric, and I have also been thinking a lot about the part of the city we live in and how broken the stories are that we’ve entered into here since we moved to the neighborhood a year ago. The kids we’ve befriended on our street have such tragic stories of loss, trauma, and death. Today, Eric shared with me about a friend whose dad died of an overdose earlier this year. The world has felt dark at times and the depth of sorrow deep in the people around us.
Does all of humanity have amnesia? Has it forgotten what it was created for and what it was meant for?
All of this has made me wonder: Does all of humanity has amnesia? Has it forgotten what it was created for and what it was meant for? I think my hope for my life and the lives of others who know Christ is that when the world looks into our eyes, that they would remember. For some that rememberence will be like the aroma of death, but for others it will be the aroma of life. They would know in the deepest parts of their soul that they have found what their hearts have so yearned for in its broken state. May they see the gaze of our Savior reflected back to them because of his work in us. May we be humanity’s memory too.
photo courtesy: onesevenone