Will Kona remember us? I was worried our own dog wouldn’t remember us after we sent her to four weeks of obedience camp in Brenham. We’d owned her only a month before we knew we needed help training her and found puppy camp heaven. She loves playing with other dogs, gets to chase chickens every now and then, and is learning so fast she’s at the head of her class. That’s our girl. So on our way to visit Kona we discussed, not our worry at how she is, but our worry that she had forgotten us.
We arrived and watched with beaming doggie parent pride as they showed us everything Kona learned. After she had done everything they asked of her, they let her free to come see us. We were standing with a few other doggie parents and she approached slowly and with caution. She sniffed the couple next to us with a bit of disinterest, keeping her distance. Next, she moved towards us.
My heart sank as it was obvious she didn’t recognize us immediately. I knelt down so she could smell my hand… a quick sniff and instantly the world changed. Her ears and tail perked up and happy wagging, excited jumping, and joyful licking pursued. She’s not lapdog size, but she bounced between my lap and Sean’s, covering us with happy doggie kisses. Even after weeks of separation, she remembers us! A week later, I’m still happy and smiling like a goof, telling everyone who will listen that my dog remembered me. I know it’s silly and I know she’s “just” a dog; yet, when my dog remembering me brings a smile to my face weeks later…it makes me realize how much that joy multiplies when humans remember each other…and when we are reminded that God remembers us.
There is powerful grace in remembering and being remembered. I wonder who in our lives needs to experience the grace of being remembered? A loved one who feels taken for granted, a church member in a care facility, an employee who feels unnoticed, a newcomer who feels out of place? Some of us may think grace is always as big as the story of the Prodigal Son. Grace, even when it seems “little,” is just as powerful. Whether someone remembers your birthday or that it was a year ago today you lost a loved one. Whether a friend remembers and shows up with your favorite ice cream flavor after a bad day or a “stranger” remembers your name. Take note of when you feel the grace and joy of being remembered and find ways to share it with others. The hearts and lives we touch, and even God, may still be smiling weeks later.