CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
I’m always reluctant to share dreams. People who know more about them than I do are likely to say, “If you dream about that, it means you’re crazy as a loon.” I don’t need to know that from dreams; I have people for that. Occasionally, though, a dream seems right on the mark…
Last night I dreamed that I had become so lost that I could not find my way home. I was in that dream town, familiar, the town where I live, but only in my dreams. It’s a small town, but it has a lot of large church and college buildings. Many of them are neglected or abandoned. My wife had taken my father to the hospital, and I was trying to go there, but I had walked in from the country, and I was a long way from the hospital. I kept seeing familiar sights and sites, but I kept taking wrong turns. To make matters worse, I tried to call Helen to come get me, but I couldn’t remember her phone number. [Anyone familiar with my life can make a LOT out of all that!]
Old people worry a great deal about losing memory. I suspect that one reason for that dream at this time is that I had several conversations this week with other old people about how we can’t remember where we put our glasses or parked our cars. [BTW, a good reason to have a land-line as well as a cell phone, or at least two cell phones, is so you can find the phone you’ve lost by calling it. I know that for a fact.]
Men rely on wives for memory. Earl Davis used to say, “I have a perfect memory system. It’s called, ‘Martha, where is that?’” I love the story about the old man who was trying to tell a friend about a new restaurant but couldn’t think of its name. “What’s that flower with the nice smell and thorns?” he said. “A rose? Oh, was the restaurant called The Rose?” “No. Hey, Rose, what was the name of that restaurant we went to?”
My wife is especially helpful when I worry about losing memory, because she says, “I’ve know you since you were twenty, and you’ve always been this way.” At least, I think that’s helpful.
Of course, forgetting your glasses or the third thing she told you to get at the grocery is just a frustration. Forgetting where home is, that’s tragedy.
After my friend of 60 years, Darrel Guimond, was in a car accident that left him brain-damaged, he was able to remember one thing. He told Linda, “I know you. You’re the best thing ever.”
The good news is that we don’t have to remember everything, because God has a perfect memory. It’s not perfect just because of total recall, but because it’s a forgiving memory. As Paul Tillich said, “Forgiveness doesn’t change the facts, but it does change the meaning of the facts.”
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where people are Yoopers [UPers] and life is defined by winter even in the summer!
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I tweet, occasionally, as yooper1721.