Faith column Nov 9

Reverand Laura J Hermakin’s column

Memory is an interesting thing. Think back to your earliest memories. Some will be vivid and we might struggle to understand why particular events or scenes are so etched into our consciousness. Memory isn’t always neat and logical, but it enables us to see beyond the immediate – the memory of a good holiday might cheer us on a grey day; memories of friends and loved ones enable us to develop relationships when we see them again. Imagine how strange it would be if every time we met people we had to learn again who they are and what they are like.

Sometimes we prefer not to remember. Erasing traumatic memories is one way our minds cope with some of the unpleasant things that happen. But even when we have the capacity to remember, we sometimes prefer not to – believing that if we can erase the memories, we can erase the pain of what we’ve lost. But memory is a gift to us, it’s that part of a loved one or friend that can’t be taken, keeping them safe and available to be drawn on.

Of course, we have more than memories to sustain us, we have God. While our friends might only be with us through memory and recollection, God is always present. Coming together to remember, and doing so in God’s presence, is powerful. For some of us, the pain of loss might be so great that we struggle to believe that we have anything to thank God for. But God has given us the capacity to remember, and God invites us to use memories to discover that even in struggle and pain we can find cause to be thankful. As we express our thanks, so we begin to discover God’s presence, giving us strength and healing.

Sometimes our acts of remembrance are tinged with a sense of guilt, wondering if we could have done more, wishing we might have made more of our parting, perhaps feeling guilty that we have survived when others haven’t. God invites us to remember so that we can be embraced with love and mercy and released from guilt.

Remembering often isn’t easy. That’s why for generations people have come together in acts of remembrance, supporting and helping one another. Let’s use the memories of the past to find God in the present. Let’s not be afraid to shed tears, or express anger and despair to God. God doesn’t demand that we come in a state of polite composure, but through remembering; sharing our stories; laughing and crying together; we will find the strength for each new challenge. Remembering loved ones may be painful, but forgetting them or allowing others to forget them would be a greater tragedy. So as we remember, let’s pray that by God’s grace we might reach that place where we can look back and say, “I thank God, every time I remember you.”

The Rev. Laura J Hermakin

Windermere Valley Shared Ministry

Just Posted

Olympics through an Olympian’s eyes

And family support back home that makes the journey possible

Brewing the best at upcoming Coffee Fest

Full weekend of events for coffee and tea lovers

Cold snap increases electricity use across B.C.

Don’t want your next powerbill to hit you hard? Follow these tips from BC Hydro

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Wartime Wednesdays

Local author Elinor Florence explores the stories of veterans

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Most Read