Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I became ill during my second year of college. The Lyme disease cloaked itself as MS, attacking my nervous system, installing lesions in my brain and spine, offering brain fog for memory, collapse for walk-strength.
My grades fell along with me. All I could remember were the things that stirred my heart.
I don't remember what I learned in school that year, but I remember God. I remember how He brought His Word alive to me in the morning hour I spent with my required Bible-reading. I remember encountering His love in Romans, having my concept of freedom blown open in Galatians, finding Christ in Leviticus as the eastern sun shone into my conference room refuge. I read through the book of Mark that summer and wept at its conclusion. That January, I spent five days in the Old Testament, reading it as I would read a novel, amazed at the God who spread Himself across the pages, across the stories, across the years.
Once I had known how to memorize, now God was teaching me to remember. I traded exact wording for heart-phrases I didn't remember learning. My limping heart began to respond to His Spirit, retuning its nerves with my physical nerves, leaving first wheelchair, then cane behind as I learned to walk all over again, using different signals that bypassed the lesions, leaning hard on what I knew of Him.
I still couldn't tell you what someone said to me five minutes ago. I couldn't tell you what I said thirty seconds ago. I can't repeat or quote long passages of anything, reiterate anything I learned for a test.
But I can tell His grace for memory. I can share what I know of His heart, the memories we have created together as He teaches me about walking with Him. My reproduce-words-habit has become memory-habit as He draws me beyond the page into relationship.
The words, like silhouettes against the sunrise, merely frame this incomprehensible Eternal. It is the Word Himself who is printing His image on my heart, and while I too often forget exact words and phrases I wish to remember, He has taught me through the fog to remember His heart.
This post also linked at Holy Experience for Walk With Him Wednesday.
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)