Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Heart Wants to Remember

"The heart wants to remember. That is why we journal, and take pictures of the events of our lives. Even without the actual pictures and written words, the heart records and remembers every experience, even if at the conscious level we sometimes forget...we need altars to commemorate the special events of our lives, and we need signposts to lead those we are leaving behind. The heart not only wants to remember, it needs to remember where it has gone, in order to move forward."

My friend Lidj (Crown of Beauty) wrote this at a post on her blog and it caught my attention. I feel the same way. The heart wants to remember. And beyond that, the heart wants to be remembered. We want to know our lives count for something; that we are important to others. I think that's why we blog, tweet and Facebook. We not only want to remember the moments of our lives, but we want a way to record them and share them with others.

I'm reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies, "Shall We Dance?", a story about a man (Richard Gere) who takes up ballroom dancing while going through a midlife crisis. In one scene his wife (Susan Sarandon) is explaining to someone why people get married. "Because we need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet. I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage...you're saying 'your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed, because I will witness it."

Whether in the context of marriage or simply our existence on this earth, isn't that what we all want to some degree? To be acknowledged and to have our lives witnessed by others? To know our presence has benefited someone else or that we were important to others? Friends and family who love us serve as witnesses to our lives. So does God.

The same God who is my Savior is also the One who knows how many hairs I have on my head (and even how many are white and how many are still brown!), has the sands of the sea numbered, and even takes note when a tiny sparrow dies. He sees me through the filter of Jesus and the cross, redeemed and worthy. His heart remembers. He witnesses my life and lets me know I'm not here by random chance. Not only am I cherished by Him, everything I do for Him is of great importance and He takes note of those moments in my life even if no one else ever finds out.

My heart wants to remember not only the moments and events of my life and those of my family and friends, but also of the ways God was present in them.