Elijah's birthday came and went this year as quietly as he arrived in the labor and delivery room 3 years ago. A few sweet people remembered his birthday, and that warmed my heart. But many didn't remember. At the close of his birthday, I had a moment of sadness. When I was alone that night, I was praying out loud and asking God, "Does nobody remember him? Do they not remember that he is real? Have they all forgotten him??" But just as quickly as that thought came into my mind, another thought came right in to take its place...
God brought to mind a video I had just seen a few days earlier. Patrick Fung is the President of OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship, which works to reach Eastern Asia), and he wrote a book called Live to Be Forgotten. Click this link to see a short 12-minute interview with Patrick Fung. It is so worth the time.
Patrick Fung talks about living to be forgotten...living our lives in such a way that Jesus is seen and we are forgotten. What a thought! Don't we deep down inside want to at least be remembered? We are willing to give up our lives, but don't we hope that we will at least be known for giving up our lives? Countless missionaries have lived their entire lives in order to reach the unreached...they've given up comfort and safety and have lived simple lives among the people they wanted to share Jesus with. Most of these people we have never heard of. They lived in such a way that we cannot recall them but can only see what Jesus did through them. They lived to be forgotten.
And as that thought entered my mind, I was so pleased with my little Elijah. He is not remembered by many. In fact, his Daddy and Mama (and a handful of nurses) are the only ones on earth who laid eyes on him. And yet countless people have been touched by his life story. Orphans have been reached because of his life. Our family's entire direction and purpose were altered by this under-one-pound baby boy. Elijah's life was not his own but instead reflected God's love and life amazingly. Elijah lived to be forgotten. Instead of being sad that he isn't as remembered as he "should" be, I find myself wanting to be more like him.
I want to live to be forgotten.