I’ve logged in a bazillion times and it always asks the same questions — Username? Password? But underneath those two sign-in fields, there’s a tiny little box with the simple description, “Remember Me.” That’s what captured my thoughts.
Checking this box after entering your personal identifying information will remind the computer to “remember you” — who you are. This allows your next login to be easier …faster. There’s no hassle to go through again and who doesn’t love a quick, get-‘er-done experience when you’re trying to …well …get something done!
Maybe it was the gut-wrenching emotions I’ve been bleeding out with all week after watching the Netflix documentary/movie depicting the lives of the five young black men–formerly known as the Central Park 5 –in, “When They See Us.”
Or possibly, it was grieving with thousands of others as we watched the live- video streaming through the internet of the funeral of Rachel Held Evans and mourned the loss and deep ache her family and friends are feeling.
Maybe the pain of hearing about a local 12 year old boy who was tragically killed in an accident earlier this month–leaving behind close buddies who were way too young to process such loss and sudden death of a friend.
Or maybe it was just being deeply aware of the wide-spread pain many are carrying –cancer, chronic health issues, addictions, homelessness, poverty, loneliness, loss and heartache — but for all the reasons above and then some, that simple phrase and that little tiny box waiting for a check mark evoked a lot of emotion in me the other night.
Isn’t there something in all of us that hopes somebody will remember us? Don’t we long for our identity, our personality, what makes us tick, who we are as a uniquely created individual to be remembered by someone?
Relationships built over time deepen through the stories we share. The moments we experience together give content and context to life. The stories we continue to share with each other become the history books our children will read from.
We don’t have to keep filling in the details of our username — the names we’ve used to describe ourselves and the ones used by others to describe us. “Who we are and where we’re from” is already known. Those experiences and choices that made us who we are — our family history …loves and losses — are shared mile markers with those who love us best.
We don’t need a password. Those are understood because the personal, more intimate details are already known by those who love us and make us feel safe… who love us in spite of …
There’s a comfort and ease of being with those who know you well enough that you don’t have to repeat that story again and again to help them understand where you’re coming from. They already know. They’ve known you a long time. They remember you.
They remember who you really are. They have context to your passionate responses, your tears, your inappropriate laughter or your family jokes. They know your music , your favorite foods, your fears and anxieties, your joys, what makes you feel alive, your quirks, your failures , and the times you overcame.
And there was a guy with an unwanted username– “criminal.” He was on his death bed made of a wooden cross. He had a past. He was unique alright …known for his failures in society but always wanting to be known by the Guy hanging next to him. That Guy was on death row as well but His essence and presence portrayed a much different story than his own. This Guy was different. Safe. Definitely unique. One of a kind.
He felt loved in spite of his failures. His quirks. His past. He felt known by this Guy in the middle — and he felt the warmth of His love and compassion. They were suffering …together. What more could bring two people together to deepen a relationship!
In his final words on earth, the criminal on the left begged with his last breath — “Remember me.” The One in the middle promised, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” This middle One would not only be with him in his suffering but He would also bring him home to the Father alive and well after his death.
Nothing could separate them now. Not his past mistakes, failures, sins, background ,,,not even death. They would be together forever. “Today, you will be with me …”
And the very best response to “remember me” is actually, “Be with me.”
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
And Jesus remembered the man hanging out next to Him who had more usernames than he might have cared to admit. To His dying breath, all Jesus ever wanted to do since the creation of the world was to be with him …and to be with you and me as well.
And the Father knows our name. Our unique identity is no secret to Him and yet He loves you and me more than we could ever imagine. The password is always, “come home.” And the truth of His love is that He’s always only ever wanted to be with you and me and for us to be at home with Him.
Dear friend, You’re not forgotten. He remembered you.
How precious are your thoughts about me,O God. They cannot be numbered!
He remembered us in our weakness.
His faithful love endures forever.