Carol and I were sitting in our front room when Carol noticed a man and his young daughter staring up at our house. He was pointing, walking to one side, pointing again, crossing the road opposite and pointing again, all the time talking animatedly. Could a bird of prey have landed on our roof? One of our solar panels become detached? Or a small fire have started upstairs?
Carol threw open the front door and asked the man if she could help: 'We noticed you outside and wonder what it going on?' To our surprise his face lit up with obvious joy. ' Oh,' he said excitedly, 'I am just showing my daughter where I used to live when I was seven years old. I have so many memories - of me sitting on a toy truck outside the front here, of my brother and me playing here.' When Carol invited him and his daughter (around 10 years old) inside he was in ecstasy. 'Can we really come in. Oh, gosh! This is just wonderful How sweet of you!'
Then began a whirlwind tour down memory lane. At every point, upstairs and downstairs, he had memories which tumbled out as a torrent. He described where his Mum and Dad slept and spent a time marveling where he and his brother had beds side by side. On the landing there used to be a cupboard with the hot water tank. 'It's gone' he said. 'That's where we used to put our towels to warm them up and sometimes our pajamas when it was really cold.' At every window he paused with memories about how he had once looked through the same space. 'Oh, to think that you have let me in so that I could share all this with my daughter' he said (several times!) He now lives abroad and was flying home the next day but he told us being let into No. 14 Brierley Walk was the highlight of his visit.
Reflecting on his enthusiasm Carol remarked how happy all his memories seemed to be and how good it is to live in a house where previous families had good times. Remembering good times is a very good exercise indeed. Scripture is packed full with commands to remember the stories of our past. It's good to be enthusiastic about good memories, isn't it?