by Jane Tawel
Six times a year, our family lights candles for Gram, and for Grandma and Grandpa Tawel. Birth and Death. Life and Love. Remember all who have come before you and made you who are.
The Hebrew Bible is full of loving reminders, admonishes, and encouragements to Remember. The God that appears in the Genesis is One Who would like us to believe that He/She would like to be remembered and that we can nudge Him/Her to remember us when we are in need. “Hello, here I am, YHWH. Remember me?” “Why yes, but don’t you think, little human, you might have forgotten something? Me. Here, IAM.”
Next week two great faith traditions begin a season of remembrances. Passover, when we remember the God who “delivers”, the God who “saves”, the God of covenants of love and mercy and commitment. “I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance.” (from Exodus 12)
Next week we remember a Jew named Jesus who celebrated that covenant with the God of his ancestors by reworking it so that people in a new time and new place could evolve a new understanding and begin to understand what internal, psychological, personal, spiritual salvation and deliverance might mean for them, and then could spread that new understanding of what we humans were created to be out to the whole world in love and rightness and peace. “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (from Luke 22)
It is hard for me to look at what these great religions have done in the name of remembering that same God and continue to do in a false sense of who we are created to be, as nations continue to rise against nations and as people use a God’s name to do what we keep hoping that very God won’t do to us — judge, hate, neglect, diminish, etc. Sometimes it is oh so hard for me to remember that God longs to see us restored to the wholeness with which He created us and so, I pray, “God, help me to remember that You are good. That You have created me for good. That there is goodness in the world and help me remember that You have not forgotten the people here. Remember us, Oh Lord.”
Today, I encourage you to light a candle, literally or metaphorically to all that you have that is worth remembering and honoring. It may be that you need to remember that YOU are worthy of honor today. Today I am remembering and honoring my mother and next week my family and I will light a candle for my mother-in-law and throughout the year, we will remember and light candles. Lighting candles not to lead them home, because they are already Home, but lighting candles to lead us Home.
Remember not just those who have given you so much in the past, but remember all you have to be grateful for in this very present time, and if you can, remember that tomorrow is another day and you do not need to carry today’s burdens any further than when tomorrow begins your life anew.
Remember all the love. All the Love.
Remember the ancestors and despite it all, despite them and their mistakes, despite us and our wounds, we have each been given enough. We have been given enough and we are alive for a reason. Honor those who have given you life and then forgive them and forgive yourself. Be at peace by being sure that you have inherited enough goodness, enough strength, enough love, enough of what you need and enough to share a little with someone else. Remember you are enough, however small you may feel your portions are.
Remember that today, you are able. And when you are not able, look for the helpers. Remember there are helpers out there in the world. Remember that you are stronger than you think and loved more than you know. Remember that no matter what you face, no matter how you feel, there is always hope, hope in what we may only vaguely remember from when our spirits were created. Remember that today, there is a Spirit of Love that wants you to believe — today you are loved. Today, you are love.
And remember — the children will find their way; they will find their strength; they will find love and faith and wholeness and health. They will. They really will.
Remember the future. And believe, that despite it all, the children will learn from us and they will learn better than us. The children will ask God to remember them and the Earth, and they will remind God to remember us, to remember that She loves them and loves the world She created. The children will seek and seek and they will continue to find the old ways and new ways. And the children will find The Way. We will find The Way that has always been, if we remember. The Way, that is here now, if we remember to look for it. The Way, that is up ahead, all across the universe, if we remember that we have enough if we have just a little candle-flicker of faith and hope and love.
© Jane Tawel, March 31, 2023 My Mother’s and my children’s Gram’s once birthday
4 thoughts on “Remember”
h o l y
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Remember and may the memories be for a blessing. ❤️
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Shalom, Rabbi. Thank you for all you continue to teach and bless us with.
I love how you explain salvation and deliverance—internal, psychological, personal, and spiritual. I’ve been meaning to light a candle for a while. I am lighting one now.