“Gracing Forgetfulness”

I’ve had a number of people ask me how and where I get my ideas for what to write about. Quite frankly, they come from things people say, things people do, or thoughts that occur to me.

When one of these ideas occurs to me I write it down. For example, the title of this article is written down at the bottom of a Wednesday night prayer gathering prayer list. In the midst of the prayer time the thought hit me and I wrote down the two words on the piece of paper. (Actually, that night two thoughts hit me that I wrote down. And for those who are already thinking this question…Yes, I also spent time in prayer that night!)

BUT…if I don’t write the thought down there is a very great possibility that I won’t remember it. If I hadn’t written down “Gracing Forgetfulness” at that moment you probably would not be reading an article about it right now.

I find that more and more of my conversation includes sentences like, “What was it I was going to tell you?” and “I was thinking about something the other day…now what was it?” and “Did you say something to me about this the other day?”

There are people reading these words right now that have told me things or asked me to do something that they now think I just blew off. In reality, I just forgot. I was going through e-mails this week and found one from a person who had requested a special letter from me. I had forgotten about it!

E-mail, text messaging, and voice mail are all good things, but there have been some indications that a ripple effect of high tech is low memory.

Now…what was I saying? Oh…right! Last week something crossed my desk that had been forgotten about almost a year ago. It had fallen between the cracks of my mind. I was left to write a letter of apology.

I think it may be easier to extend grace to someone asking forgiveness than extending it to someone who hasn’t asked for forgiveness, but maybe they just forgot to ask for forgiveness. How do you differentiate between someone who could care less and someone who’s missing part of their memory?

Not remembering things, not hearing things, not seeing things as clearly, and slower reflexes—getting older needs extra helpings of grace and patience.

Okay, there’s something I’m supposed to do right now. Carol says I agreed to cook dinner, do the dishes, and scrub the bathtub. I don’t remember agreeing to do it, but I must have. And after I do those things, she says there are some other things that I forgot that I committed to do!

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2 Comments on “”

  1. Friar_Tuck Says:

    Fun post. Makes me think about what the nature of the spiritual life of someone with alzheimers is. Especially when persons with alzheimers do things that are contrary to their character before they had the disease.

    And what abotu the soldiers with traumatic brain injury? Are they accountable for their decisions when a brain injury bears a large part in causing their sinful behavior? Just thinking.

  2. Dean H Says:

    Funny post…I keep telling my wife that if she asks me to do something and she doesn’t see me write it down then she might as well consider it forgotten or that she really never asked. I’m really not blowing her off, though I think she views it that way.

    I guess I could use that same excuse for why I miss my quiet time with God most days…I didn’t write it down to rememeber to do it. But much like my wife, He’s not buying that either.


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