Shortly after 9/11, a few of us finally return to the racquetball club for a pre-dawn workout. We pause in the foyer first to watch and listen as a news commentator reads the names and circumstances of some missing and known victims: we all know it is important to regard anything about the attack with seriousness. And we do. Yet in only a few moments, after a few dozen names have been recited, some gym mates wander off to exercise machines or a match. Those of us who remain understand; their choice seems akin to gallows humor. They are not forgetting. But after days submerged in gravity and solemnity, everyone feels the need to surface—to inhale the momentary amnesia of sleep or the waking analgesia of routine. Human solemnity is frail. Without forgetful moments, we drown.
About our every need and failure, God constantly attends, cares, and responds, without fatigue—one reason we regard that God is as important as we are not. Isaiah: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” The Psalmist: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
This week, may the knowledge that God never forgets give us confidence to trust him and faithfulness to serve others.