Forgetting God

"Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number." - Jeremiah 2:32

In Tennessee Williams' short story "Something by Tolstoi," centers on Jacob Brodzky, a shy Russian Jew who inherits a bookstore. Jacob is married to Lila, his childhood sweetheart. He enjoys being a bookseller, but she wants more adventure-and she leaves Jacob for the theater. Brodzky is devastated. At their parting, he reaches into his pocket and hands her the key to the front door of the bookstore. "You had better keep this," he told her, "because you will want it some day. Your love is not so much less than mine that you can get away from it. You will come back sometime, and I will be waiting." She kisses him and left.

To escape the pain, Brodzky withdrew deep into his bookstore and immersed himself in his books while he waited for his love to return. Nearly 15 years after they parted, at Christmastime, she returns. But when Brodzky rose from the reading desk that had been his place of escape for all that time, he did not take the love of his life for more than an ordinary customer. "Do you want a book?" He asked. That he didn't recognize her startled her. But she regains her composure and replied, "I want a book, but I've forgotten the name of it." Then she told him a story of childhood sweethearts. A story of a newly married couple who lived in an apartment above a bookstore. A story of a young, ambitious wife who left to seek a career, who enjoyed great success but could never relinquish the key her husband gave her when they parted. She told him the story she thought would bring him to himself. But his face showed no recognition.

Gradually she realized that he had lost touch with his heart's desire, that he no longer knew the purpose of his waiting and grieving, that now all he remembered was the waiting and grieving itself. "You remember it; you must remember it-the story of Lila and Jacob?" After a long, bewildered pause, he said, "There is something familiar about the story, I think I have read it somewhere. It comes to me that it is something by Tolstoi." Dropping the key, she fled the shop. And Brodzky returned to his desk, to his reading, unaware that the love he waited for had come and gone.

Does your love still burn for the Lord? Today in prayer, confess any forgetfulness of God and keep your love for Him alive and active.

"The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ." - William Barclay

God's Word: "You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth." - Deuteronomy 32:18

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2003, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS [email protected]

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