Re-Membering the Body of Christ
I’ve never had a good memory. I don’t remember birthdays or anniversaries. And I’m TERRIBLE at remembering people’s names – usually introducing myself to folks at least three times before it sinks in that I actually know them. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that I have forgotten many details from my Young Adult Volunteer year. Yet, I am surprised and quite upset. I want to remember that powerful year, as I’m sure you do as well. It reverberates in my bones and calls me to embody the broader experience, but I want to remember details. This is why I journaled so fiercely while in the Philippines.
A powerful thing happens when I read the words composed in my weather beaten journals: I start to remember. When reading, I don’t know how long it takes me me to read from cover to cover, but for that moment, I’m transported back to the Philippines through the inward narrative of outward experience. I come across lists of meals I ate – and for a second, I taste them again, not because I describe them in great detail, but just because I see a word that tangibly recalls a memory.
In my reading, I come across many names. some of which I have detailed faces etched into my memory, and some I only see an outline. As I see their names, I read them aloud. I remember them, and in my remembering, I offer their names to God, to the universe. Remembering is a form of prayer. This is one of the reasons we read scripture aloud every Sunday – to remember those who came before us. Scripture doesn’t always give us names or details about faces, but we read them to remember particular stories that teach us something about humanity – praying for humanity as we remember.
We, as Young Adult Volunteer Alumni, share our stories to remember those who touched our lives in our placements, those who embodied the gospel to us. In remembering who we are and who other individuals are, we are RE – MEMBERING the body of Christ; adding subplots, details and tension to the human narrative. That narrative finds liberation in the God of all creation, who holds us together as we are re-membered.
Please feel free to leave a comment of someone who touched your life, a name or story, one word or multiple paragraphs. Please use this as a forum to remember and re-member.
post by heather grantham