Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This is Me (not the picture, the essay)

This largely descriptive of one of the ways God has been slowly changing my heart, over the past 26 years, since I came to know Christ.

Go, read it. I loved Mr. Rogers too. Still do.

Old Hands, Tired Bones, A Life Receding

Last week, in the dead of night, at the senior home where my Mom and Dad now live, Mom took a fall. She landed on the hip that she broke about six years ago, falling at the supermarket near their home - the last time she would ever go shopping. Someone came quickly to help her up. She is well cared for.

Mom has been using a walker for the past six years or so, and life has slowed down considerably for both she and Dad. Mom's doctor had her checked into the hospital the next day, and to our relief, there are no broken bones, but a bad and scary fall for her never the less. Mom is back at Sunrise now, but it either in too much pain, or too scared to try her walker again. She spends all day in bed, assisted to the restroom by caring workers - the hands and feet of Christ in a way, I think. She is eating well, but these events have a way of traumatizing her for weeks. She is not her usual self. She does say that she sleeps well; I find that a sure sign of God's grace.

And Dad is well, not a big help. In times like these he tends to get crabby and negative, and to complain that "its amateur hour around here" when he speaks of the care Mom is getting. That is not true, its hard to hear, and it brings up years worth of "issues" I have with my Dad. I told Dad yesterday that he needs to simply be more patient, and much more encouraging of Mom.

This has been an interesting week for me. At the core of it, I realize how self-concerned I am. The visits to the hospital, the ambulance ride back to Sunrise, the pain and fear Mom is experiencing, all make me ponder quite a bit about my own ending - hopefully many distant years from now. Will I live in fear? Will the promises and hope of my faith make a difference in my own heart and in the way I treat others? Do those things really matter in the way I behave now? What will my final passage be like?

I wake early in the mornings now, with thoughts of Mom's well being circling my brain. Why is this so?

The words of St Paul have taken on new meaning this past week. From 2 Corinthians 4:

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is so. When we are young, we feel invincible. And, as we age, we begin to understand better, with each day, month, year, our own.....well, vincibility. This week, I have learned a bit more of what it feels to "carry around....the death of Jesus". I am glad for this, and thankful for the journey.

Rest well, Mom.
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