rec·ol·lec·tion |ˌrekəˈlekSH(ə)n| noun

the action or faculty of remembering something.
“to the best of my recollection no one ever had a bad word to say about him”
a thing recollected; a memory.

As I write, I’m listening to a song called “Recollections” by Miles Davis and band. It’s 19 minutes of free jazz and one of my favorites. I tend to be mindful of having a soundtrack to life.

This week I roadtripped to Nashville. I prepared for the trip emotionally and spiritually by listening several times to Loretta Lynn’s new record, “Full Circle”. The trip represented a sort of full circle for me. I was visiting Floyd and Ann Craig at their beautiful home in Nashville, AKA, The No-Agenda Retreat Center. Riding shotgun was my dear friend and mentor Doug Manning. Driving up from Atlanta to join us was my “brother” Gene Chapman.

For me this was a re-collection of people who have been there in some of the most pivotal times of my life. We spent hours recollecting and remembering the past better than it was. (As we’re apt to do.)

Back in the early 70s I was going through a crisis of faith and calling. Floyd was my go-to guy during this and he introduced me to Doug. If you’re interested in more of that story, I’ve told a bit of it in a post last year about this time. Gene and I met a few years later as I was seeking to live out my calling on the other side of the crisis. I've always felt I could be completely real with Gene.

Hopefully you get a sense of how important these guys are to me, as are the recollections that have rushed in through being with them again.

photo by Krystal Brauchi

photo by Krystal Brauchi

I also hope that in the midst of the bunnies and eggs and chocolate and ham this weekend, you will re-collect your friends and families and that there will be good times of story-telling and recollecting.

Most of all I hope for a time of anamnesis for all of us.

anamnesis |ˌanəmˈnēsis| noun
(from the Greek word ἀνάμνησις meaning reminiscence and/or memorial sacrifice), in Christianity is a liturgical statement in which the Church refers to the memorial character of the Eucharist and/or to the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. It has its origin in Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”, (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).  -- Wikipedia

Anamnesis is just a fancy word for recollecting, for remembering, but that is powerful stuff. I heard a doctor speak one time about remembering. He explained that when someone loses an appendage, let’s say a finger, it is called “dismembered”. He said that when it is reattached it should be called “re-membered”.

That’s what happens when we remember: we reengage, we reconnect, we re-member and we recollect. That’s why families and friends gather and stories are told; to re-member.

At our No-Agenda Retreat in Nashville, we all gathered around a table for lunch in a restaurant. Floyd asked, “Do you all remember the way Grady Nutt used to say the blessing before a meal?” Grady Nutt was a special guy to all of us there. Grady, unfortunately died in a plane crash many years ago, but we remember him.

So Floyd led us in the blessing, just as Grady would have done. We all joined hands and Floyd said exuberantly in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “He’s done it again!!!!”

What a beautiful acknowledgement of the provision of God. It was so wonderful to re-collect and recollect.