I wrote this last summer, on a note on my cell phone, after a particularly pleasant youth outing, and spent some time editing it this week. In the midst of the pandemic, I’m trying to remember what “together” feels like.
God, you told your people all the time to remember.
So at this moment help me never to forget these nights:
These hot summer nights spent together.
These nights with children’s laughter.
These nights with teenage angst.
Help me never forget what it’s like to be around young people with energy and enthusiasm and an endearing nature about them.
Help me never to forget the equalizing magic of a church van.
Help me never to forget singing at the top of our lungs to old country songs.
Help me never to forget that 10-and-2 attention to the steering wheel my hands instinctually grasp for safety with a van full of youth.
Help me never to forget to yell “Are you wearing your seatbelt?!” and “Put on your seatbelt!”
Help me never to forget driving home exhausted and tired from an event but so satisfied and content with your call on my life.
Help me never to forget the ones I cried over. And the ones I rejoiced over.
Help me never to forget Team Pink and Team Green and Flag Tag and Pillow Hockey.
Help me never to forget those pale pink scars on that fragile wrist that convinced me, God, that young people needed you now more than ever.
Help me never to forget those stories. The funny ones, the boring ones, the haunting ones, the ones that still make me ache.
Help me never forget that it was first your love for me that qualified me to love them.
Help me remember who I was when I was their age.
Help me hear your call to remember them, and most importantly: You.
God, help me remember.