Memory’s Blessed Burden
Some pilots in Top Gun wore polo shirts under their flight suits. “Majesty” was number 33 in his 3rd grade Sunday school chorus book. MC Hammer appeared on Saturday Night Live on the opening weekend of The Addams Family movie. His dad put up a giant cardboard “Guess Who’s 30?” sign in the front yard on July 16, 1986. When playing catch with Jerry, it was easier to catch a raquet ball in the ol’ timey baseball mitt than a baseball. His 3rd grade friend slept during class in the Janet Jackson concert t-shirt he obtained at the concert the night before. Two loser sophomores attempted to intimidate him on the first day of highschool. His name was on the scoreboard at the Toledo Mud Hens game on his birthday. The vomit formed the shape of a baseball diamond in the corner of the stairwell at that same game. (Icks-nay on blue kool-aid.) Pastor Craig teared up at the end of some sermons. Jerry buried fool’s gold so that he could find treasure.
He could remember all these random things and more. Remembering so much was not without a burden. That burden was knowing where the gaps were. The burden was that he knew precisely what he could not remember.
Listening to the sermon, he was uncomfortable. Unable to ward off comparison and criticism, he longed for the memory of just a single sermon Pastor Craig gave. Was it the delivery? The rhythm? The message? He needed something to help him make sense of why today’s sermon sounded so backwards. Hmmmm…errrrrr. Nothing. Ugh!
Then a new thought occurred. Surrounding the gaps in his memory were Pastor Craig’s actions, which by definition were memorable. He remembered them to be authentic and full of integrity. He remembered feeling that the pastor loved him. What exactly did the pastor do to make him feel loved? The pastor aimed an intense focus on him. The kind of focus that is only made possible by living in the moment. Pastor Craig exemplified living in the moment.
At least, that’s how he remembered it.