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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blessed Are the Forgetful

She was the first person and the last person to give me a birthday card, and quite fitting it should be her to sandwich that time of the year when people celebrate the day you were born. My grandmother is someone very dear to me. Her husband of 72 years and my beloved grandfather passed away during Thanksgiving holidays last year, and for the first time in her life since 1934 she has been single. Needless to say, things have been quite different for her as she nears the illustrious age of ninety. But some things have not seemed to leave her . . . Both my grandparents have struggled with Alzheimer's over the years, and not until late it has been taking a tighter grip on my grandmother. It has become a joy to hear her tell the story of how she met my grandfather and how she worked as a secretary for the president of Southern Seminary (which I now attend). Within 30 minutes, she would tell it to me again - and I would listen to it as if it was the first time I had ever heard it. Because of Alzheimer's, my grandmother forgets many things, but she did not forget my birthday. As a matter of fact, she asked my mother at least three times if she sent me a birthday card with some money in it, two times accomplishing that end. You see, she ended up sending me a second birthday card yesterday having forgotten she sent me one a week earlier, both having been smothered with love and generosity. Even after that, she again called my mother a third time late at night because she was too concerned that she would miss my birthday and opportunity to express her love to one of her grandchildren. As I was laughing with my mother on the phone, I began to think, "How cool is that? I have a grandmother who forgets she gave me a birthday card (with money I might add), and because she forgets, I get to get it all over again!" I doubly received because she doubly gave, though she had no idea, being oblivious to the gift she gave last week. Then it hit me . . . How often do I give and keep a record of it? How often I measure my giving ("saying that's enough") by recalling my precious "sacrifices?" It was my remembrance that I often used as an excuse to not be more sacrificial, more giving, more generous, more gracious. I hold on to my past like a report card or certificate of goodness which paralyzes me from experiencing the sufficiency of Christ and treasuring Christ with greater thought and desire than the food on my table or clothes on my back. I shrunk in the seat of my car in utter shame to realize how beholden I had become to things which I should rejoice in plundering. "Let goods and kindreds go this mortal life also" Luther said, and my grandmother with that gentle gleaming smile reminds me that the it is more blessed to give than to receive, and in a real sense, the blessed are the forgetful, for they shall be remembered. I only wish it didn't take us having Alzheimer's to realize such a blessing. Lord, grant me a spirit of forgetfulness in my devotion to you and others that I may give like I have never given before, to love like I have been lovestruck for the first time, to live like I you have just breathed in me the breath of life. Let this left hand of mind have a naked vision to my right, and let the things I say and do find a resting place in the shadowlands of grace you alone remember and rejoice over me. And oh, thanks for such a great grandmother and for Alzheimer's, for therein I have beheld the brilliance of providence as the noon day sun in the afterflow of a life well lived.

5 Comments:

Blogger DJP said...

Gosh, that touches me. Thanks for sharing this.

3/07/2006 10:33:00 AM

 
Blogger Outoftheshaker! said...

Hey Brother,
That is the Timmy I remember. I love ya. This is a good reminder of the my grandparents. Helps me in so many ways , so far away.
Michael

3/07/2006 07:41:00 PM

 
Blogger Nikki Daniel said...

Great post. I'm convicted!!

3/07/2006 08:58:00 PM

 
Blogger iconoclasm said...

How sweet. That is beautiful, thanks for sharing it.

3/07/2006 09:54:00 PM

 
Blogger brittney said...

I enjoyed reading that Timmy. Thanks for sharing.

Brittney

3/08/2006 04:53:00 PM

 

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