By Gay N. Lewis
Three hundred people met in a large room. Talking and laughing, they milled about visiting in small groups, and they all wore name tags. Many knew each other already, but in case they forgot a moniker, a tag attached to a shoulder was a good reminder.
None of them knew me.
I’d been asked to speak a few words of inspiration. As the group quieted and took their places, I mentioned the label designations as an attention getter. I said something like this:
Names are often difficult to retain so I’m pleased we’re all easily identified. If I forget your name, I can read it and my problem is solved.
What if we couldn’t recall our own name? Can you imagine the fear of not remembering friends or family? Or how about the nightmare of forgetting who God is?
There may come a time when our memories fail us, but God’s mind never collapses. He can’t forget us. For Him, it is impossible. A disease may make us unable to remember our Creator, but He always identifies us by name. He knows where we are too.
telephone bookPhoto: Wikipedia.org
Now here’s an interesting part. God chooses to forget the sin and awful deeds we’ve done, but forever remembers us, the person. Our names are so important to Him that He records them in His Book of Life when we become His family.
Since the time of that speech to that small group of people, God has given me numerous opportunities to recall what I said about His memory.
I saw a post on Facebook from Michelle Benglson. Here’s her quote. I don’t know if it is original with her or not, but it is a good one.
Satan knows your name but he calls you be your sin. God knows you sin but He calls you by your name.
Isn’t that amazing?
God will never have dementia or Alzheimer’s, but He identifies with folks who have brain diseases or injuries. According to Alzheimers.net, nearly forty plus million will have a related Alzheimer’s disease this year. These folks may not know who they are, where they live, or who loves them, but God does.
People with dementia or Alzheimer’s feel disoriented. Anger overtakes them because they can’t bring to mind normal things…like their name. Many won’t be able to meditate on the Holy One, but He thinks of them.
Patience. Love. Respect. These are values a sufferer with brain ailments need but may be difficult to give. Patience is not a natural virtue for some, including me. At the time I gave the speech, our daughter was healthy. She now experiences early onset dementia and requires a calm demeanor from those around her. We expect dementia in the elderly, but not the young. Like others of any age, our daughter responds to dignity. An overwhelming sadness comes with the territory.
Photo: Pinterest/Dementia Heroes
Interaction with a victim of a brain disorder is not easy. Have you ever shunned someone because you didn’t know what to do or say? Leaving a personal comfort zone can be difficult, but your hug, smile, and listening ear will brighten an invalid’s day.
Some days are better than others for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A sufferer may ask the same question many times over in a matter of minutes, and the caregiver can grow tired of repeating answers. Family members may develop anger at the situation and spew frustrations on the innocent patient. Target the disease, not the person. Ask the Almighty for help. He gives it.
Let’s also remind ourselves and the loved one that God always knows them and hasn’t forgotten them. We can’t explain why disease and hard times came their way…or ours. Only God knows why. Our choice is to remain faithful to Him and the person who hurts.
Groups help caregivers. Join one. And remember, just as God never forgets the person, He also knows your circumstances. Take courage in His memory.