His name came up in a flash of the past…
A memory, and maybe even from a dream. Regardless, David popped into my mind. We became good friends in the 6th grade, maybe even in the 5th grade at Viola Cobb… He lived closer to the school than I, and we had moved to Channelview about 2 months into the school season. I’ve never had a difficult time making friends, and there are several names I remember from that first year.
But for several years, other than cousin and brothers, I hung out with David more than anyone else.
His dad had had a stroke somewhere during those early years and I remember going to his house and his dad sitting in a wheel chair with no focus or awareness. I remember going to his dad’s funeral in Liberty, TX, and staying with some of family for a night or so. 6th, maybe 7th grade? Then, sitting in the front seat of some strangers car going to the funeral home and then grave site. Smoking, ash tray, A/C blowing the choking billows into my face, hard to breath, tears. But I do not remember the funeral at all. Blank. It’s gone. Forgotten.
I wish my memory could recall.
Over the next few years we remained fairly close, but then High School hit like a ton of bricks and our worlds began to diverge. An entirely different set of memories, but none to be shared here.
I wish my memory would forget.
Eventually, I left for a different senior year experience and I’ve not seen nor heard from him since about 1971. 46 years ago. I’ve occasionally looked for him in social media and general Google searches. No reference. No where. I’m not even sure if he graduated. A call out to my Channelview Facebook connections garnered a possible reference to him, and his dad (passed in 1967). If the connection is correct, then David passed in 1994. 40 years old.
How could I let so much time pass us by without locating him at all?
As you age, it seems, your mind ranges through the past and picks up snippets of memories like stickers from the grass. You carry them around for a few days. Gnawing on them like a dog would a bone. Wondering. Where. When. Why. It makes me wonder about who else I may have forgotten, and it makes me wonder who has forgotten me.
And that smarts! Surely I’m worth remembering!??!
Reconnecting via social media I see people as they present themselves today. Older. Grayer. Less hair. Perhaps frail, heavier and uglier. (!!) Children, grand kids, maybe even a few greats. No longer living around the block, or down the street. Often they look nothing like my memory from 50 years ago. Nor do their current images match up with that picture staring at me from the pages of a school annual.
We’ve all moved on.
But God hasn’t. He knows where you are. What you have done. You know, those 5 W’s of our learning years. Who. What. When. Where. Why. Throw in a “How” every so often! God knows.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10 NKJV)
Even further back than this New Testament reference, we are cautioned to not forget God. There is a little bubble of scripture that has the story of those who left Egypt and are cautioned to not forget God after they enter into their promised land.
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ (Deuteronomy 8:11-17 NKJV)
When things get good and you are on the cusp of bragging about your own accomplishments, by your own hands, then beware lest you forget that it was God who prepared the way for you! You may forget God…but He has not forgotten you. He knows exactly where you are!
That’s a blessing I can live with!