“I will not forget you.”     

     Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isa. 49:15-16 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, though Isaiah used the image somewhat metaphorically, mothers and fathers do forget their children. I experienced it first hand, having lived through the journey of my dad forgetting my name, then my face, then everything about me. It was quite painful.

I’m grateful the gospel is a living hope, not sentimental hype. I’m also thankful that long after dad forgot you, you never forgot him—such is your promise, such is your mercy, such is the wonder of your love. I’m envious that dad now knows you perfectly, while I’m bound to the world of knowing-in-part.

As someone who found you to be “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” in a story of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to pray for others now in this hard story. Grant spouses and children, family and friends, the strength of your Spirit and courage to love well.

Grant them freedom to grieve their mounting sense of loss; grace to accept the changes in their loved one; and the freedom to offer a non-anxious presence, when doing so becomes increasingly difficult. Grant them wisdom for each stage of the journey, trustworthy and compassionate medical care, and emotional and financial resources.

Lastly, Father, I pray you will help all of us impacted by memory loss (in others and in ourselves), to treasure being known and remembered by you. If we should forget you, in route to heaven, we will never outlive your love for us. We may lose our keys, name, and face; but we will never lose you. We are engraved in your hands, hidden in your Son, and secure in your grace. Thank you, loving Father, thank you. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.