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The Good and the Bad

I was typing one of Joe's sermons the other day for a column. Joe wrote about an experience he had when sitting with a long-time friend at a worship service. This friend, whose father had just passed away, was reminiscing. He said, "This was one of my Dad's favorite songs." A couple of songs later: "I wish my Dad could be here to hear this one." Then, as we gave our best to one of the great hymns of the Church he turned to Joe and said, "I can almost hear my Dad standing next to me singing."

Joe continued on by saying, What was going on here? Grieving? Yes, but more than grieving, remembering! Actually, it was much more than just "remembering" it was an exercising of the mind.

Our Friend was remembering his father. Joe could hear it in his voice, I could see it in his eyes. Emotionally he was remembering that which was separated by death. There was an inner bridging of a gap, a bringing back together that which had been separated.

Joe went further by saying, "I am subsisting that the ability to remember is an important aspect of the way God made us. It is sad when something goes wrong inside of us and we can no longer remember. Remembering is an important part of our faith life. It keeps the present in proper perspective, and inspires hope for the future.

God wants us to remember what he has done in the past, that is to bring into the present those things from the past which both nurture and form our faith.

I'd like to look at this idea in relationship to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper was given to us for remembering, not just as a mental exercise, or a religious rite, but a living experience.

The Disciples were to take carefully selected items for eating and drinking. By celebrating the Passover, which was a historical event each year, they would attempt to bring the distant past into the present, and make it live again, at least emotionally.

He or she who fears or shuns emotion in their religion misses much, for God is the author of our emotions, and He desires to employ them for His glory. The last supper was a very "human" event which actually happened.

Now, it is me, Julie, I will carefully put my thoughts into all of this. First of all, I need to remember that my past is very important.

Yes, I now live in the present, but, I need to continue to identify with the past, and link it to my present. It isn't like going from one room to another, each having a door. There are no doors.

How about past pain? Do we shut the door of our memory to past pain? Pain which is perhaps situational (cancer related) or from words spoken? Memories of past difficulty will always be in our head. Pain and pleasure, toil and rest.

Yesterday, a song kept coming to my mind with those words, as I was raking leaves.

Day by Day

Day by day and with each passing moment,

strength I find to meet my trials here;

trusting in my Father's wise bestowment.

I've no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure

gives unto each day what he deems best.

Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure.

Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord himself is near me.

With a special mercy for each hour;

all my cares he gladly bears and cheers me.

He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.

The protection of his child and treasure, is a charge that on himself he laid:

As your days, your strength shall be in measure.

This is the pledge to me he made.

Help me then in ev'ry tribulation.

O to trust your promises, O Lord.

That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,

offered me within your holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when, toil and trouble meeting.

E'er to take, as from a father's hand. One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,. Till I reach the promised land.

I have an old cap which belonged to my dad, and I also have an old measuring cup which belonged to my mom. The bottom of the cup is round, and it is all dented up. Back in the home where I grew up. I used that old measuring cup and washed it, (back then).

Forward and onward. Keeping the "wise," which was given in the past, and learning from its pain.

I want to be faithful day by day with what God has entrusted to me. Patiently waiting for whatever He brings me next.

Blessings, Julie


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