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Updated: Aug 9, 2021

What I remember and then forget is annoying, frustrating and at times surprising. I once forgot my mother’s name as I was introducing her to a group of people. How embarrassing!! LOL.

Why do we remember and forget things? It seems it’s down to emotions and the interplay between long-term and short-term memory. Science says we remember things that are emotional, and they get stored in the memory bank or long-term memory. To remember things long term, particularly names that we all tend to struggle with in the short term, link the new name with something or someone in your past (long-term memory). Make it funny and it might just work.

Recently I was standing waiting for a tram on a chilly night in Melbourne to return to my hotel from a Christian conference night meeting when an elderly man arrived, and we began to discuss the tram’s arrival. He was also a conference delegate so as we waited and shared names, churches etc, I told him this story:

I became a Christian at his church some 34 years ago and in fact was married there also. I had visited the previous week with a friend and was amazed at the place, its vibrancy and the close encounters people of all ages were having so I went back for another look. That night the speaker was telling my story of loss, heartache, loneliness and the only answer to it. My hand shot up and I then walked to the front to say a prayer, even though my mind was telling me to do otherwise. As tears streamed down my face, I met head-on my loving, forgiving, home-coming Jesus.

As I told the elderly gentleman this, I told him the name of the man who had years ago, told me my story, led me in the sinner’s prayer and subsequently married me to the young man who had the week before taken me to that church.

There was a paused silence as he looked at me intently, then he said “I am Barry Cla