When my parents committed to ‘better or for worse’ fifty years ago, I am sure they never thought they would both be ‘worse’ at the same time. It was assumed and talked about often that one would decline from age before the other and, therefore, they would be able to care for one another. Unfortunately, right now, that isn’t the case. Mom is fighting to save her life and lacks the necessary energy and patience that Dad requires to keep him moving forward. Dad is confused and not sure about what’s happening to Mom and lacks the mental strength to care for himself or for her.
Mom and Dad have a ritual every night. It’s the type of pillow-talk that is healthy among couples and should become a ritual in all our lives. With the lights off, the noises shut down, and listening to the rhythm of one another’s heartbeats, they face each other and talk about their day, their lives together, and their love for one another. Dad always reassures Mom by saying, “I love you more today than I did yesterday”…and then he kisses her once on the chin, then the nose, then the forehead; and repeats that three times before sealing it with a final kiss on the lips. It is as if, for a few moments, God grants them enough grace to by-pass all their cares, all their sorrows, all their troubles and all their pain, enough for them to remind each other that they are one, together.
The scripture tells us that God’s grace is sufficient for all our needs. There are times I wonder if God is out of touch with reality – if He has forgotten or maybe doesn’t know all-together the stresses and demands on our lives. I wonder if God needs a reality check. I recently spoke to someone who said she cried to God and got mad for feeling like she’s not being heard. I told her to keep yelling. I think it is perfectly acceptable to show God how passionate you are about something including your pain. Christ yelled to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”? Even Christ felt abandoned. I wonder if Christ felt that His Father was out of touch with reality and failed to fully understand humanity. Then again, that’s why Christ was sent in the first place – so that we would have an advocate, an attorney, if you will, to God the Father.
When we hire an attorney it is easy to get angry or upset when things don’t move as fast as we want them to. An attorney friend of mine once said that attorney time and human time are different. Attorney time is typically last-minute because they are so consumed with other people’s issues the other minutes. Makes sense – as long as they get the job done, right? He went on to say that he encourages his clients to be proactive. It’s ok to call him and push him, to let him know how eager you are to settle the case and move on. I think the same is with us and Christ. Tell him – yell if you need to – but let him know from the depths of your very being how important your needs are and He will listen and He will supply all your needs. In the movie, Contact, Jodie Foster’s character stands before a few powerful men and asks them for the money to help her project continue. They say no. And then she shows them the passion, the burning desire within her to get this done. She revealed, through her passionate plea, the importance of this project to her very soul, her very reason for being. She was given the money – her needs were met because she was brutally honest with the people who could make a difference.
My partner recently asked me how it is that I am able to remain so positive all the time. When I look at people like my parents, the answer is pretty easy. What choice do I have? I can wallow in self-misery, self-pity, and have a woe-is-me party, but what will that accomplish? More depression, more sadness, more misery, and it tends to push people away. So I CHOOSE to remain positive because the other options just are not sufficient for me.
My prayer for you is that you have no other option but to remain positive through ALL situations. Conquer every evil that comes your way. Stand strong in the face of adversity.
Your anchor holds fast through the angry seas. Your anchor holds in spite of the storm. Though your sails are torn and tattered, your anchor holds.