Mom has never been one to give a hug or say she loves me. I know she does, but these outward demonstrations are not her love language..that is until of late. She has seen the trials I have endured in my job caring for people with developmental disabilities. Between the 4th of July and Labor Day she has seen me often with my clients in tow. Each time she has hugged me and told me (with tears in her eyes) she loves me. She also begged me to get out before the job killed me.
God wants me to learn something in these intense trials. Perhaps He wants others to observe how I endure the trials. No matter the purpose, it is trials that God uses as His catalyst to our faith and development. “God trains His chosen not by allowing them to lie in beds of ease but by calling them to difficult walks of service. Combat comes before victory. Turning into true warriors requires being in the trenches with bullets flying, bombs bursting and the smell of gunpowder everywhere.” Streams in the Desert LB Cowman.
Mom lost her sister and I lost my dear Aunt during this time. It was unexpected and heart wrenching as my Aunt had just moved home and we were planning a sweet reunion. Losing a loved one without warning truly makes us re-evaluate our priorities. We are all running out of time.
Suddenly there is now time to take a drive and see the childhood home of my Dad. Turns out it is on the same road I live on now, just a few miles over. The stories Mom told as we toured the neighborhood are priceless. I learned history of my grandparents I had never known before. It was of great comfort to know that my while my paternal Grandfather endured debilitating pain from a spine curved severely from rheumatoid arthritis, he turned to Jesus to be sustained. At age 10, I can remember him sitting in his special curved chair in the early morning reading his Bible.
Mom is also my opposite in that she loves to clean and does not keep any unnecessary clutter. Everything she gets rid of usually ends up in my basement as I want to be surrounded by stuff that gives me comfort! I asked if she had Grandpa’s Bible and after some searching she found it and gave it to me. It is a very old King James Version that has not been opened for 45 years. The ribbon was on Luke Chapter 13 where it said in the old language “And Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said unto her, woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid His hands on her and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Through tears I know my Grandfather was trusting Jesus to give him the ability to endure. I trust that his spine was straightened and the pain stopped when he reached Heaven.
Mom called me last night to say she was in town and she would like to take me to dinner. I changed my plans in order to be with her. We did the usual computer consultation of what would not work with her printer and her tablet, her Scottrade account and her on-line subscription to Investors Business Daily. All was repaired and we set off to a restaurant she wanted to try. She asked me to drive as her eyesight is failing. She burns up the roads between her home in Indianapolis and the farm where she spends most of her time in southern Indiana. I think the real reason for the dinner was for her to ask me not to move to Bloomington. She said she did not know who would need care first – her or me or my sister. She thought we all needed to be close by to support each other. My dear friend Helene and I have been discussing this very thing for some time. Who will care for us when we can’t do it. I must be in training right now (for a time such as this and for things not yet seen) in this care-giving job I have taken!
As I spent time in my own devotions this morning, these thoughts resonated. May I encourage you to take time to do the things which are important. You may not pass this way again nor may your loved ones. Don’t be haunted by what you leave undone.
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore any good work, kindness or service I can render to any person or animal, let me do it now. Let me not neglect or delay to do it for I will not pass this way again.” Streams in the Desert, July 30, LB Cowman
“It isn’t the thing you do, dear,
it’s the thing you leave undone,
that gives you the bitter heartache
at the setting of the sun.
The tender word unspoken,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.
The stone you might have lifted
Out of your brother’s way,
The bit of heartfelt counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.
These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals find–
They come in nights of silence,
To take away the grief,
When hope is faint and feeble,
And a drought has stopped belief.
For life is all too short, dear.
And sorrow is all too great,
To allow our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it’s not the thing you do dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.”
– Adelaid Proctor