I opened Drew’s backpack to discover that his class picture was in. As any mom does, I scanned the familiar faces looking for my boy. I scanned again. Then I looked at every individual’s face, wondering how I could miss my red-headed child. I couldn’t believe what I didn’t see. Drew was not there.
I looked at the date when the photo was taken and I didn’t recall him missing class that day. I texted his teacher asking if he was absent. She promptly looked into it and texted me back. She discovered that Drew had been separated from the class doing a different assignment during picture time. She was so upset and told me she would have another made for me.
I know mistakes happen, but I couldn’t help but be sad, thinking of all of the other children being photographed and no one noticed that Drew was missing. He had been forgotten.
It would have been easy for me to become offended, wondering if my child wasn’t loved like the others. But I knew better than that.
Drew’s teacher called me when Drew was in the hospital before I even had a chance to inform her of his broken leg. She subsequently sent a text to all the other parents asking them to pray for him. As he returned to school, she made a special desk for him and allowed the other children to assist him. She wheeled him everywhere he needed to go. When he was ordered by the doctor to use the walker instead of the wheelchair, she was the one who pushed him to use his leg so he could walk again. I’ll never forget her genuine excitement when she showed me how he was putting more weight on his leg one day. I credit her for helping him over his motivational hump in his healing.
Oh, she loved him. There was no doubt.
It is so easy to get our feelings hurt when we feel we have been forgotten. We take it personally. We feel unloved. But the truth is, we’re all human. No matter how hard people try, they are going to forget to make that phone call, send that card, type that text, or bring that meal.
If we allow ourselves to get close to anyone in life, sooner or later, we will be disappointed. We will be forgotten. And chances are, we will be the ones forgetting from time to time as well.
But instead of wallowing in our self-pity (which is usually my first reaction), the best response is to mentally step back and see the bigger picture. Most likely, we are loved even on the days we feel forgotten. Most likely, someone’s forgetfulness has more to do with what’s going on in their lives than with us.
Prayer is so important when we feel forgotten. With prayer, the focus becomes less on me. With prayer, we are many times given a compassion and understanding we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Prayer changes our outlook. Prayer changes our relationships.
The next time we feel forgotten, may we exercise grace. May we bathe ourselves in prayer and let the Spirit set us free from hurt and bitterness.
May we run to the arms of our first love who has never forgotten us and never will.