Last weekend I attended a class reunion of too many years to admit to. Attending it was fun, sad, and sweet all at the same time. We laughed at our stories and cried over our classmates whose lives ended too early. We shared sweet memories as we toured the building that used to be our school, which now houses a technology magnet middle school. Athletes grew nostalgic entering the gym, while my best memories were of my French teacher as I looked inside her old classroom.
We all share a common history that extends beyond the buildings, classmates, and teachers to that entire era with its own music and world events—the assassination of President Kennedy, the first astronauts on the moon, the Viet Nam war and protests, and the civil rights movement.
I am so thankful that most of my recollections of those days are good ones. Other than dear friends poking fun at me from time to time and of course embarrassing myself quite often, my memories are precious ones of friends and activities we shared. Yes, there were times when others’s words hurt me, but it was not the norm and no longer stings as it did so long ago.
Today’s abrasive, attacking discourse makes me wonder how sweet the memories will be for younger generations who are being taught by our example on social media. I am horrified that many of my generation who share my faith care little for doing unto others or loving all people, choosing to ignore Jesus’s clear commands. I hear the excuse that circumstances require us to stoop low to fight against our enemies (instead of praying for them) rather than reach high for God’s love toward our fellow humans made in his image. My answers to that? First, our enemies aren’t people (Ephesians 6:12). Second, the God I serve is big enough to take care of us; he doesn’t need us to hate, slander, and attack others to accomplish his will. Third, without love even the good we do is empty (1 Cor. 13:1).
Let’s pray for sweet memories and do our best in the power of God to give sweet memories to others.