Do not forget reminder
Action, Article, Faith, Love, Scripture, Service

Help Me Remember


The last week of August is the first week of school in our area.  The Friday before school started, the boys and I returned from four weeks of traveling and visiting family (New York, New England, China, and Malaysia… including the rides to and from the airports, the trip home took 42 hours).  We spent the first week of school recovering from jet lag and readjusting to home, schedules, and packing lunches.   Things were chaotic and everyone was exhausted, but we were slowly-but-surely finding our way back to normal.

Mid-morning Thursday on that first week of school, my sister called with an urgent request.  Laurie is the Executive Coordinator for both SafePlace (an organization focused on ending sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change) and Austin Children’s Services (ACS offers protection and healing to children who have experienced abuse and neglect).

ACS has received eight children this week, and our clothing closet is empty.  Three brothers came in late last night with nothing but the clothes on their backs…and they are going to be here for a while.  Do you have any clothes that you could donate for these three boys?  We need size 3T/4T and size 5/6, as well as size 9 shoes.
Sorting through clothes to make a donation was not on my to-do list.  It wasn’t even on my radar.  But I didn’t even hesitate; of course we can help!  We live in Houston and were planning to visit Austin for the weekend.  I had a little over 24 hours.  As I went through the closets and bins of clothes, I found a lot of 5/6 clothes but I had already passed the 3T/4T on to my nephews.

So I reached out to five local friends who also had boys.  Not one hesitated.  Every single one of them found something to donate – with apologies: “sorry it couldn’t be more…”  The generosity was overwhelming.  We barely had room in the trunk for our luggage.


  • Recall a time when you were asked to help someone in need.  What happened?

Jesus tells the Parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:28-32) who each have their own answer when told to “go out and work in the vineyard today.”  One says no, but goes anyway.  The other says yes, but doesn’t go.  “Which of the two did his father’s will?”  The first.

Christian faith asks way more of us than saying “Yes, Lord, I believe.”  Faith involves discipleship, our whole lives… our whole way of being in the world.  We are to love one another.  We are to serve one another.

Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40)
In many ways, God has already asked us to go out and work in the vineyard.  In our baptism, we have already said Yes and promised to go out and work.

I don’t want to be the one who says yes and doesn’t go.  But I also know that I get distracted. Distracted is an understatement; I regularly forget what I came into the room for.  I kill plants because I forget to water them. Luckily, the kids are a lot more vocal when I forget to feed them or we’d be in a lot of trouble.

While I work on this distraction–this forgetting–I want to draw attention to how very grateful I am for people like Laurie and the phone calls, text messages, and Facebook posts and she makes.  She helps me honor the promises I’ve made.  She helps me live out my faith.

We need people like Laurie in our lives.  They invite us to love with generosity.  They are the ones who help us to help more effectively.  Perhaps they do so by organizing, by suggesting, by coordinating.  Perhaps they do so by raising our awareness.  However it happens, whatever their request…

The person who asks for our help in helping others is opening the door of opportunity to love.

  • Who do you need to thank for reminding you of your promise to help?


“Do not forget reminder ©”

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Julie Dienno-Demarest Visit Website
Spiritual Director, Author, Educator
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