I don't know about you but I have a hard time with September 11th. Every year when the calendar flips over to September 1, I hold my breath a little and occupy my mind with other things, trying to pretend it didn't happen. I try not to remember that cool, crisp September morning and how I was getting ready for my surprise baby shower at work that wasn't a surprise. I try to forget the call over the loud speaker to evacuate my office building right before the baby shower and how I ran to my parking garage with my huge, 8 months pregnant belly. I try to forget the fear and regret I was having about bringing my first born child into a world where such violence and hatred existed. And as the remembrance posts begin to show up in my Facebook feed I scroll past looking for an ad or a meme to help take the pain away.
I saw one of those 9-11 posts the other day that said, "Never Forget". I smirked and thought, "Really, how could I forget? How could anyone forget? What a silly thing to suggest"...but not really. Because I forget everyday.
I forget a lot of things. I forget the one item my husband asks me to pick up at the grocery store or the dish I am supposed to bring to the pot luck meal. I forget to pay a bill or return library books. I forget to have my oil changed and some days I don't remember how old I am. And it doesn't stop there.
When it comes to my faith I forget the big things. I forget that God has been faithful to His children for thousands of years - faithful to provide and to lead them even in their wanderings. I forget that God rescues, redeems and restores. I don't recall the many miracles that He has performed over the course of time or even the miracles in my own life and then I find myself fretful and anxious. I forget the simple commands of loving Him and loving my neighbor and I act snarky, hurtful and downright mean. When I forget God I become desperate and fearful and I condemn others and myself.
Yes, we need to be reminded to never forget. To never forget the love and adoration God showered on this planet the day He sent His one and only. To never forget the one and only's ministry to the outcasts, the poor, the widows and orphans and the despicable. To never forget how Jesus asked God to forgive the ones who put Him on the cross...you, me and everyone - even the ones, especially the ones, who hate Him.
God warns His people to "never forget" over and over in the Bible. There are phrases like, "lest you forget" and "you shall not forget". He wants His people to remember His faithfulness, their mistakes, His kindness and their need for Him. Seems appropriate for today, September 10, 2016.
Tomorrow will a be a melancholy day for most of us. I know I'll cry and I'll likely tell my kids about the day and try to explain "why" to them. As the images and news stories come forward, I will try to use tomorrow to remember my God and the faith I have in Him. I will never forget how He takes the most painful and violent acts of mankind and turns them into beauty and salvation.