Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: Brain Damaged and Forgiven
By janet rubin
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For one thing, I forget to close the garage door. As a fireman, Dave stays over at the firehouse every other night. On most mornings, when he returns home, he is happy to see me, but about once a month, he walks in out front door, drops his duffel bag, and gives me the look. In an instant I know that I’ve done it again. Then he tells me again the dangers of leaving the garage door open all night: skunks, coons, thieves… I know all of these things. It’s not like I want a pet skunk. I just forget.
Oh, and then there’s candles. Who doesn’t love a room permeated with the scent of an “apple crisp” Yankee candle? Who wouldn’t appreciate the romantic glow of flickering pillars and votives? I’ll tell you who—a fireman married to an airhead. Nothing strikes fear in my husband’s heart like me with a lighter. ‘Nuff said.
Speaking of fire, I am reminded of one of my more recent blunders. We were all at my in-law’s house for Thanksgiving, which just happens to fall on the same week as my father-in-law’s birthday. My mother-in-law, afflicted with a lung disease, is unfortunately chained to an oxygen tank. Right on the front door, there is a warning about oxygen and flames, which is why the whole family gasped in horror when I came marching at her with a birthday cake loaded with lit candles. They were quickly extinguished and no harm done, but the looks aimed my way clearly said, “What are you stupid?” Now some people might delight in the idea of an exploding mother-in-law, but I love mine. I just- well, you know—forgot.
Then there was the time I forgot to take a bottle of hot pink nail polish out of my jeans pocket and it came open in the wash, destroying Dave’s new work uniform. You can still open the dryer and see pink swirls.
And the time I put a roast in the oven to defrost, only to forget about it. Later I turned the oven on to preheat—I think the noxious fumes produced by melting plastic and Styrofoam packaging may have exterminated even more brain cells.
But my very worst air-headed habit is locking my keys in the van. I’ve been doing this one ever since I was old enough to drive. At least my children are now all old enough to know how to escape when I lock them in the van! This past summer I reached the pinnacle of stupidity. I locked the keys in the van in my driveway. Now, it wouldn’t have been so bad, since the house was unlocked and I should have been able to simply go inside and get the spares. Except for that the spares were also locked in the van…
Forgetfulness is a bad thing—annoying and sometimes dangerous—except for when the One doing the forgetting is God. Some of my favorite verses in the Bible have to do forgetting. In Jeremiah 31:34, God says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sins, I will remember no more.” When we repent, He forgives and yes, forgets. How wonderful. His forgetfulness is intentional, an act of love.
But praise God! The Bible is full of things He promises not to forget! He promises not to forget His covenant, not to forget Israel, not to forget us. In Isaiah 49:15 He asks, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast?” (He might have had me in mind there.) Then he answers, “Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” We esteem a mother’s love as the purest, strongest kind of love there is. But God’s love is better. What a comfort to know that when I can’t remember where I parked my car, God remembers me.
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