Forsake Us Not

I have no idea what the lyrics in one of our church's communion songs mean until I see what's happening to my mother-in-law, whom in her old age and sickness, has no recollection of who we, her kinsmen are. One part of the lyrics goes something like this, "And when these failing lips grow dumb, and mind and memory flee ... my Lord, remember me." Despite her illness, I still see God's grace in her life.

Some days' back I whispered in her ears, 'Mother-in-law, how are you? I'm ST." She had no response. I continued, "Jesus is with you, every moment..." She nodded in acknowledgement. I stroke her shoulder a little and momentarily she seemed to recognise who I was, but that split-second of recognition subsided just as quickly as it arose and she slipped back into her dazed state.

A few days' before this she was asking her daughter who isn't a Christian what heaven is like and she couldn't answer. So I whispered to her, "You will see Jesus in heaven, father-in-law will be there for you, that is a place with no sickness, pain nor tears..." She didn't respond, her memory has certainly fled. But this I'm sure, God will remember her.

We are doing all we can to make her last days as comfortable as possible.

RSV Psalms 71:
Verse 6: "Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of thee."
Verse 9: "Do no cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent." Verse 17: "O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds. Verse 18: "So even to old age and grey hairs, O God, do not forsake me, till I proclaim thy might to all the generations to come."



I had an unhappy incident in Church today, and angry as I was, I knew immediately the importance of putting it behind me as quickly as possible. But it wasn't possible, I couldn't help but kept mulling over it again and again, as if trying to justify to myself that I wasn't at fault in the first place. In all honesty, I still feel that I wasn't at fault...

Anyway, this incident reminded me of the importance of forgetting things.

We have always lauded the merits of remembering things but God has actually given us the blessing of forgetting things. There was a man who had a gigantic memory and he could recall even the most insignificance of things. He worked in a circus showing off his skills in identifying what everyone in the audience did just before entering into the tent. His exceptional gift amazed everybody. However no one knew his agony; how sleep eluded him because he just couldn't switch off his mind.

I can feel his pain to some extent because I have a good memory of past events; things said and done and even the facial expressions. Now, because of what had happened these past few years, I wish I can thoroughly forget about the past.

A few nights' back, a character from a tv drama put it aptly, "I am a happier person now that I'm suffering from Alzheimer's because no matter how bad the news about me or my family and how much my company's stocks have fallen, I forget my unhappiness quickly. I am not at all troubled now."

There is some truth there, some wisdom too. Forgive and forget. It is easier to forgive, but to forget? How often a scene or a word will replay itself in your most unguarded moments or even in your dreams? How often a similar place or familiar scent brings back memories and regrets?

I am going to pray for the ability to forget so that I can live a happier life. Live and let live, let go and I think many of you need this too.

May the Lord be gracious to all of you out there, those who are hurting, that you may forget more bad things and remember more of the goodness of our Lord.