Have you ever really tried to remember something as far back as you could from your childhood?
I don’t try this often. When I do I am usually stopped at my four-year-old self on Halloween. We lived in San Fernando, California at the time with my brother, mom and dad. My maternal grandmother was there handing out candy for a large bowl. That was normally used to mix cake batter.
We are about to be put to bed after an evening of costumed goodness. And BOOM!!! A truck collides into a wrought iron fence and a man is injured. I remember my dad running outside to aid in extracting this man. The sirens and lights flashing about. I was scared and hid under a chair in the living room just out of reach from the scene, but close enough to watch over my dad.
I then recall a mummy. I am not sure if the mummy was the man or a costumed person helping. They cut the fence down and took the man away to the hospital. I went to sleep and the memories faded.
I asked my father about this memory and a few others that I hold. He regretfully informed me that the truck thing on Halloween night never happened. So the saddest part to this is that the earliest memory I hold is not true. Hmmm?
I got to thinking about this…
What are memories? Moments of the past that follow us into the future? How much truth do memories contain? Does it matter is a memory such as the one I shared is not factual? It was informative to my four-year-old self and in some way informs the man I am today.
I look to the revelation of my depravity and see this as the condition that prevents memories from being utterly imbued with truth. Let alone memories from a child. As we develop we encounter life. We all have those memories of the “cool kids” that filled the parks we played in, standing around or babysitting us. The funny thing is these moments are complex forms of nothingness. It is not as it seems.
What I see is not what you see. What I remember is not what you remember. Memories are a marker of truths deeper than corporate experience. Memories are a vehicle to experiencing God.
Memories take us on a journey to encounter. We remember God in our life. As we do we are drawn near. Just as the Israelites did as they remembered, as Hindus do to remember, and as Christians hold hope in remembering the promise of Jesus Christ. Memories bring us to God and allow us to engage in the divine.
Memories are divine and unique. Just as the memories we have as children they are wild and full of imagination. So to ti the divine as the divine exceeds our understanding. We are small as God is great. But if you can remember we are all part of the great as the divine is within us. Your awareness of this, your perception of the presence of God in your life is linked to memories.
Perception shapes our memories and as we grow our perception changes. So too our perception changes as we become more intimate and nearer to God. The creation you are one day will not be the creation you are on another. This is our condition and the only cure is grace. To engage the divine we need to be vulnerable, open, and intimate to God so that we may remember and take with us memories of Gods presence with creation.