There are two words I never care to see on my caller ID. Especially in the middle of the night.
Yes, Life Line, as in the Emergency response system for seniors. The medical alert button my grandmother wears around her neck. The button she only presses in desperate need.
Friday night my phone rings…1:30AM. One guess what it reads.
“Yes, this is Life Line calling in regards to your grandmother. She is being transported by ambulance to UT Medical Center.”
Many of you know that we care for Mamaw. She doesn’t live with us, but there are days she probably should. She is 89-years-old and is the most valuable inheritance my Mom left me upon her death.
And my most challenging still.
I have said time and time again that there is a reason that God did not intend for us to care for infants and widows in the same season of life. There is a natural progression of life stage that was disrupted by my mother’s cancer…and now we are left trying to figure out how to make it all work.
If a widow has children or grandchildren these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parent and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4
I also see why God stresses the importance of caring for the widows. It had to be a Biblical mandate or no one would want do it.
It is hard.
Not that I love her any less….if anything I love her more. But caring for the widow is hard. Taxing. Frustrating. Time consuming. Exhausting.
But like most things in life that are the hardest….they are also the most rewarding.
Never before did I think I would know so much about Medicare, hip replacement, high blood pressure, pinched nerves, Nexium, constipation, indisgestion, Ensure, supplemental insurance, back pain, bowel movements or refer to vomit as “upchuck.”
I see how many people in my parent’s generation are presently caring for their mom and dad as a full time jobs. It could very easily be a 40+++ hour work week.
But instead of seeing this responsibly as a blessing that pleases God, our culture has turned it into a burden.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultess is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
Wow. How straight forward can He get? God sees looking after orphans and widows as pure and faultless. The word “pure” in the Greek is katharos and means to purify by fire; like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit.
Oh, is He ever pruning me. Pruning me of selfishness, self-centeredness, conveinence and pride.
And what does it mean to keep onself unstained by the world? Why would that be in this verse?
Unstained means keeping a commandment without alteration. Spotless. Free from censure; irreproachable. Above rebuke. Free from judgement involving condemnation. Without the act of blaming.
Do you know how many times I’ve been looking for someone to blame for this? “Why me? This isn’t how its suppose to be. I’m too young to be caring for the elderly. If it wasn’t for my mom’s cancer. Why won’t someone help us out more? God, what were you thinking?”
Yes, I may be keeping the comandment to care for the widow, but I don’t always “live above reproach” about it. I don’t always serve Mamaw without placing blame – On cancer. On mom. On God.
Forgive me, Lord. I didn’t realize.
So off I go to the ER. And there she is. Sitting upright in a triage bed, holding a bloody towel up to her nose.
“Mamaw? What happened?”
“Hi baby. I’m so sorry you had to come. My nose started bleeding and I couldn’t get it to stop. I didn’t know what else to do.”
I’ve never been so thankful for just a nose bleed.
Yes, we were in ER, all night long, for a nosebleed. But I am so thankful. As we sat there and waited I just listened to her. And watched her. And thought, “One day, sooner than I like, she won’t be here. And I will have to wait a lifetime to see her again. What a blessing to care for her. What an honor to wipe her bloody nose and lose a night’s sleep.”
One day I will wish I could.
I have never done this before…but could I ask you all to pray? We have had Mamaw’s house on the market for seven months. We are trying to sell her estate and move her closer to us. To be able to care for her better. Will you join me in praying that her house would sell and we could move her soon? Thank you.
Sing to God, sing praise to His name – rejoice before Him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:4,5
Love love love to you all.