by William Joseph
Once a thing is done it cannot be undone, mentally, nor can one put it out of one’s ‘system.’ Something collects and stores all those things called memories. Really, we have no say in the storage process, though we made choices to do things or had things done to or around us.
It is written that the Father brought us “from a mighty long way”. Therefore, the ‘keeper’ of memories brought us into this world with what science calls DNA. But it’s not about science! Science may give it a name, but it cannot lay claim to its source! Interesting, eh! The Spirit, the source, gives knowledge to science and also reveals itself in the Word.
The Bible is a Book of memories. Throughout its pages one reads of things done, said, believed, sent, prayed, witnessed or called in relation to events, people and places. One can therefore recognize the role of memories for instruction and guidance; lessons of life; record of the history of civilisations and evidence of God’s Power, Glory and Grace.
When Daniel wrote his dream down, that was a function of memory. When the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I would make mention today of my own offenses”, he was obviously drawing on his memory. On other occasions, the verb, “remember” is used. Even the thief on a small cross at Calvary would say to Jesus, “Remember me when you come in Your kingdom”. On several occasions, the Bible speaks of God remembering things. So the spiritual significance of memories is well established as essential to the pattern of Creation.
For us, human beings, memories convey the present state of our knowledge and operate much like a rear view mirror. The setup covers things gone, the means by which knowledge comes (reading, hearing, seeing, impartation and revelation) and the purposes surrounding our experiences. Memories of the beneficial things good people did for us are recorded as gratitude. Memories of the journey from poverty to a better state are marked by love and appreciation for our parents and their sacrifices.
Remembering has a value deposit and a conscience deposit. The good things we cherish, but the bad things rest on our consciences. They are virtually recollected at will, even if unspoken. We may receive forgiveness if there is genuine contrition.
Even so, the human connection to the sin continues with us as memories. We remember things when we are alive and others remember them when we are dead. Therefore, remembering is present in life and in death. I vividly remember the sins of my youth and would be a broken man if I remained in that space. Happily, under the Covenant of Grace, the Lord says “your sins I will remember no more.” Wonderful!
There are unique events in the life of a nation that are remembered for various reasons. Some of the more significant memories have heritage status/value. The Revolution falls into this category. So too, is the role of Sir Eric Gairy in establishing the Grenadian nation. His newly-unveiled statute signifies public remembrance of a national hero to whom honour is due.
October 19, is a few days away and many memories of that dreadful day will flow. Grenadians learned the painful lessons of a bastardised nation and experienced the criminal soul of power! The 1979-83 era and footprint of the Grenadian ‘Pharaoh’ must always be remembered.
The generations remember Hurricanes Janet and Ivan. Grenadians will forever remember Kirani’s golden win at the London Olympics. And we will remember the burdens of 2 Structural Adjustment Programmes in 20 years!
So the pattern is valid. Purpose is always present. Both good and bad are remembered because value and disgrace mingle in the flow of memories. An accounting for how we lived our lives will be on the basis of a remembering of the things we did or did not do. So there is real power in remembering and we should always remember that.