I am taking a memory enhancement course offered by Amazing Place, a non-profit ministry partner of ours whose mission is to care for folks with dementia and their families, along with a parishioner at St. Stephen’s. The class is designed for people “north of fifty” to learn techniques to strengthen short-term memory.
In addition to visualizing pictures to connect people and actions to be able to assist recall, the evocation of emotions and stories are crucial tools in memory. We remember feelings. As Maya Angelou once said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
The most important thing I have learned in this class, however, is that your short-term memory is a matter of attention and choice. To remember we focus and choose to hold the information in our minds. Another way of saying this may be that we learn it by heart.
This Sunday’s gospel takes us to the road to Emmaus where two of Jesus’ friends encounter the Risen Lord. The Risen One invites them to remember Jesus’ teaching of the prophets and Torah and in the breaking of the bread, they recall who he is. They remember.
May we attend and recall as well.
-The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector