Recently, I got to spend some time with an elderly lady who moves slower than molasses and doesn’t always remember details. Also, I got to help her bathe. And then? The memories came .,,
I remember taking a shower with my mom so that I could clean her body. She was sick with cancer and could not wash herself. I was young and too selfish and afraid to experience those memories as precious. Sadly, I chose to be her caregiver and not her daughter. And then, one day she was gone. Then I wished I had cared more about loving her and having time with her instead of just giving her care.
I cut off me hurting from losing her long before she was gone. Why? I was frightened of the pain.
Let me encourage you to stop and look the person you are caring for in the eye. Breathe in and breathe out. Listen to them breathe too. Then wait. Maybe God will give you a creative way to love them.
I used to frequent nursing homes because our oldest sister lived in one. She was bathed maybe twice a week if the staff was organized. Once I witnessed someone cleaning my sister. The lady was rough like sandpaper and moved so fast I barely saw the water get my sister wet. I cringed as I spied. After that I did what I could to ‘show up’ during bath time so that I could help them wash her myself. I even got to gently explain how they were the hands of kindness to a person who rarely got touched other than by her sisters. They had not considered that their bathing job was really a love job in disguise.
Listen, I just want to encourage you not to run so fast that you miss the one you are giving your care to. If your parents are elderly, enjoy every inconvenience. If you have a child who is challenged, love him or her as sincerely as you can. Remember you might be the only touch they get so be gentle and reassuring and above all, LOVE.
Until soon, Donna Reiners
My way or the highway. Zero relationship. This describes my relationship with my Dad. Skip forward to real time in my real life and when I came to know the Lord and I found deep inside me ingrained a thought that I would not live long and so I was always afraid of what? Dying before morning. Sick huh? Yes, I agree. What a sad way to think and a sad way to trust God or others. Not only did I have zero relationship with my earthly dad but I had zero relationship with myself and the enemy fought to pervert my dialogue with God also so that we would have…..zero relationship.
I’m free from much/most of those nagging thoughts and ideas. The Word of God changes us and His love helps us see clearly and receive differently. I’ve learned more of the give and take but it has not come easily. I love to talk things through with another person – and at times I appear defensive…yet its me attempting to just flat understand and “get” whatever it is you are saying. I don’t think it is wisdom to just bee bop along and pretend like you understand when really, you do not. It’s deceitful actually. Relationships are critical in life and in love and in living.
Well, this is the thing – my dad knew nothing else. He thought honor was shut up and listen. He was offended when I contradicted what he felt was honor. Because his worldview was so skewed and his idea of honor and love was so twisted, he lived offended most the time. Bless his heart – all he needed was a good dose of God’s love. THAT would have solved sooooo much!!!
I want to encourage you today in your communication with others. Don’t assume they are dishonoring you and don’t assume they are offended. You might have some elderly folks you are around or maybe it’s you who is the elderly. If it’s you – be patient with those who don’t think of honor the same as you. Honor that person by loving them. Don’t take offense! It could be their worldview is just radically different and you just need to have a conversation where both parties get to share and listen and talk and listen. WOW. More LOVE = less Wars. The next time you are around someone who has this communication style of the my way or the highway – perhaps you might consider just hugging them on the neck. Change the environment. Maybe they are afraid of something and they just need some love and a listening ear. Be about understanding instead of replying and who knows….you might see God change them AND you all at one time.Send this to friends who might be interested in loving or being loved. Who knows? Maybe they need some wisdom.
Until next time,