(Continued from “Die Quietly”)
In all fairness to Prince Hamlet, his “Tell my story,” captures a deep longing of the human heart. And while all such longings left to themselves become corrupt and perverse, they are often signs of something deeper, truer, better for which we were created.
It is the way of the market driven world to strive to forget death, and the religion of the dying world to make death palatable. Fame provided the only afterlife for the ancient Anglo-Saxon. Children assured the ancient Jew of continuity. We haven’t changed much. We seek after fame. We strive for a legacy. “Remember me,” we plead with the next generation and delude ourselves into thinking they will.
Yet to be remembered, to be known, is not an evil desire in itself. The church herself has offered her children the comforting words “memory eternal” in times of bereavement from time immemorial. God has made us to be known and to be remembered.
But in our fear of being forgotten…our fear of a sort of second death…we appeal to the masses of broken humanity. We must appeal to them in more than one sense of the word; so we do what must be done to earn their affirmations.
For this, the church once more calls us to repent:
“For seeking the praise of others rather than the approval of God; Lord, have mercy upon us; For we have sinned against you.”
May we seek always and only that approval that comes of the transformation that is ours as we are crucified with Christ. God grant us memory eternal in answer to our prayer, “Lord, remember me.”
(Next: Called to tell our stories)