I have been living in the land of forgetfulness. Something happened to my wee brain when we crossed the great Atlantic. Now assaulted by the breeze of the Mediterranean sea, I am forgetting everything:
- Where I put important papers. Patrick and I joke that there is an evil vortex in our home, one consisting of malevolent anti-matter that sucks documents into its hungry mouth–never to return. Somewhere in the belly of the vortex is insurance papers, passport photos, our life savings ($125.46 US dollars–which equals about 4 euros!), and myriads of French school papers, detailing how we are idiotic parents and need to figure out which papers to sign.
- Errands. We sometimes run errands together. Being by nature go-getting Americans, we stack our errands, expecting that EVERYTHING will get done. Back in Texas, we could knock out five errands in single jaunt. Not so here. One is enough. And even then, one is seldom accomplished. Usually, that one multiplies itself into seven. (Case in point: getting a bank account. We went to our local friendly banker and tried to set up an account. No go. We had to make an appointment for several days later. Then, when we met with said banker, he said that phrase the French are so fond of, “Zisss is impossible.” We had to go to the same bank in another town where the banker kindly said, “Zisss is possible” and we got our account. But it took several days.) Back to my point. When we go on these errands and get sidetracked by the inevitable add on errands, I forget all the other errands anyway. I don’t think we will ever get all our errands done! I wish I could throw them into the evil vortex.
- Decisions. Patrick will ask a simple question: “Do you need to go to the grocery store?” This, then, throws me into mental convulsions. First I stare at him, wondering what in the world he means. What is a grocery store, I think. Then, like a good English teacher, I pick apart the parts of the sentence. Need? What is need? Sure, we don’t have milk or butter or cheese or vegetables, but if living on less food means not having to face all those French grocers, then I guess we really don’t need anything! In this cross-cultural quagmire, I have lost all ability to make simple, intelligent decisions.
But today I read a Scripture that cheered my soul. Psalm 88:12b says, “Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about Your righteousness?” Even though I forget God’s faithfulness at times, I hope and pray I would answer YES to the psalmist’s question. I can talk about His righteousness even in my own personal land of forgetfulness. Even when the coffers are empty and we are living by faith, I can tell everyone that God is good. He is truth. He is right. He is amazing. He is grace.
I might forget my keys, my agenda, my mind–but God does not forget me. Because of that, I can shout His righteousness from the land of forgetfulness.