This is not something you want to happen to you.
It’s 10 p.m. You’re tired. You snuggy up in the bed with your Kindle, the atrociously unpleasant cat, and the Norwegian Artist (well, actually, I snuggy up to the Norwegian; you’ve got your Italian Lumberjack or Nigerian Accountant or another atrociously unpleasant cat). And then you look at each other — you, the atrocious cat, and the Norwegian, and you say,
“By any chance did you remember to milk the goats tonight? I didn’t.”
Oops. Everyone forgot.
It happens sometimes when the schedule gets mixed up along with my mind, and one of us (I smile when I say this because it’s usually the Norwegian) heads out to the dark, empty barn and squeezes goat teats for 20 minutes.
Life happens. We’re human. We forget things, goats, unfortunately sometimes people.
And because we are human and have a tendency to forget things, goats, and unfortunately sometimes people, we expect that others do, too — with the “unfortunately sometimes people” being us. Family lets us down, friends get busy, co-workers are swamped with their own projects and we, like the cheese, stand alone.
“Did you forget me?”
That’s a question I ask God sometimes, frequently, actually, because it seems like, in the frenetic pace of everyday life, with all sorts of people wanting and needing all sorts of things, God surely can’t keep up with everything, and if any person is going to be dropped, it’ll probably be me. (“It’ll probably be I,” is technically correct, by the way, but if you weren’t bothered, I won’t be either.)
So I was . . . relieved, actually, when I stumbled onto Isaiah 49:14 where God addresses this misconception:
“But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’”
You know, it’s so nice to know that someone else thought this first, without getting fried by lightning.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has borne?” verse 15 continues. “Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
I don’t know if you’ve ever nursed a baby, but I can assure you, after providing milk for four of them, that you do not forget when a highly aggressive young of the species is clamped onto one of your areola. While there are some people who can multi-task while nursing a baby, I was never one of them, satisfied with simply focusing on the task and ensuring that they didn’t get bored and bite.
But the point is this — I didn’t forget that they were there. Conversely, I frequently used the time to stroke their cheek, run my hands through their (limited) hair, lock eyes and smile, or just gaze in wonder at this wonder of life. I didn’t forget them; I interacted with them. My sole and only purpose at the moment was to be with them, feed them, and love them. I am sure that most nursing mothers would express a similar sentiment — and even if they’re one of those multi-tasking sorts, they’re not going to get so busy doing the monthly budget book that they forget the other thing, you know, the baby.
So much better is God at this than us. While He may be silent for longer than we wish, while our prayers may seem to go unanswered, while it may seem as if He’s gone off to feed the horses while forgetting to milk the goats, He hasn’t forgotten us. He hasn’t forgotten you; He hasn’t forgotten me.
He isn’t sitting on the sofa, with His Kindle and some atrocious cat, oblivious to the bleating in the barn, 150 feet away.
The fine artwork in my articles is by Steve Henderson, my Norwegian Artist who is so chivalrous about heading out to a dark, empty barn.
Find more of Steve Henderson’s Art in the following online venues:
- Steve Henderson Fine Art (original paintings, signed limited edition prints, posters)
- Great Big Canvas (licensed open edition art prints)
- Light in the Box (licensed open edition art prints)
- Sagebrush Fine Art (licensed open edition art posters)
- Amazon.com, AllPosters.com, Art.com (licensed open edition art posters)
Manufacturers and retailers — license Steve’s work through Art Licensing
By the way, if you were confused about the “It’s probably me” or “It’s probably I,” part, don’t feel bad. You’ve been functioning just fine up to this point. If you’d like to know more about how to write and speak more correctly without becoming a grammar freak, however, consider my book, Grammar Despair: Quick, simple solutions to problems like, ”Do I say him and me or he and I?” It’s available in paperback and digital format at Amazon.com.