Forgetfulness is simultaneously a desirable and undesirable thing that flits between conscious striving and my conscience. It’s a defense and an attack. A quick look backwards and our efforts crumble to pieces. The fortress falls. The memory room collapses. And so much clawing can’t get us out.
I have wanted to forget the sound of that crashing and burning. The screaming in the antechamber of my left atrium, the way those sounds hurled through deoxygenated blood that once was full of life and love. Like ghosts, they battered my mind and insisted I do not leave them behind. Take us with you, they said. And I had to oblige. I had to let them become a part of me—let the scars snake their way over my soul and somehow determine to keep my face flung forward for faith. Maybe then I could forget. But sometimes the wounds ache. They poke and they pulse and I know I never could patch them over with sage green paint no matter how much I wanted to rewrite that particular part of my story.
I have spent much of the recent past scrabbling like a puppy in the sand in my lame attempts to cover up mildewed memories and throw whippoorwill words at those woods.
Remember. The hills harken to his hand in everything. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restores my soul. You are the God who works wonders.
Remember. The past is a monument to his faithfulness. Set up a stone and call its name Miriam, Mary, Martha. When the waters saw you, they were afraid.
Remember. The will of the Lord is redemption. To erase the past is to erase any need for redemption. To so quickly discard the whole yearning, the yawning hole of nostalgia and space and crashing into souls and sins—would you eliminate Christ? Your way was through the sea. Your path through the great waters.
Remember. The body is on its way to Eden, too, not just the soul. Yet your footprints were unseen.
Lord, make me whole.