What is right in front of our faces, what seems urgent , what we are asked to do: such are the tasks we usually engage in first every day. And while some of us are better at long-term to do lists and planning, most of us are prone to tackle first what we have to do to survive, keep our jobs and when all else fails, sleep and eat!
In the process, we become forgetful.
I see this principle lived out in my faith community formation every week. As easy as it is to dream big dreams, set out great intentions, what it means to be a human being often is to do first for ourselves, rather than what is a community's or another individual's need. Before you think this blog post is a rant against selfishness, hear this: it's not that I think we are all unkind or not compassionate, but that we get busy and we forget.
The problem lies less in our ability to care, but the time we give in our schedules TO care.
It's easy to just overlook someone when he or she is not begging for our attention or asking for something. It's easy to not notice a person being absent for several weeks and several weeks turns into several months and then all of a sudden we realize that we haven't seen so and so since last Easter. It is easy to not own up to our forgetfulness after some time has past without contact. People begin to slip through the cracks of our membership roles, our databases and our memories.
Might part of our gospel ministry as people of faith be about the practice of "Forget Me Not?"
In a society that moves too fast to even remember what day it is often, I believe it is the calling of the church to continually slow each other down so that we can remember to give action to our compassion.
Remember: when someone is having surgery or soon facing a scary doctor's appointment.
Remember: when it is the first anniversary of the death of a loved one.
Remember: to call and say, "I missed you."
Remember: to meet petitions for prayer with compassionate and supportive gestures of support.
Remember, simply remember to see each other.
Throughout scripture, there always seems to be such a call to do just this. Remember my covenant . . . Remember what the Lord has done for you . . . Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy . . . Remember the orphans . . . Remember the widows. And, the list could go on and on.
At Washington Plaza, we are thinking about ways in the coming months that we can be better about this, especially to those who are going through long periods of illness or who are homebound. I'm grateful for the leadership of the deacons on this matter and their keen insight to draw this important pastoral care need to my attention.
Yet, no matter if we find ourselves this day in a church leadership position or not, I believe the call remains the same for all of us as part of the human family. We are all a part of some gathered community of friends and acquaintances where we have countless opportunities to notice, listen and remember.
Who might you need to remember today? In doing so, you might just find open doors of beautiful relationships that are yet to be!