On the second morning of my father-in-law’s arrival, when I set his bowl of oatmeal in front of him, he clapped his hands and proclaimed he’d hit the jackpot. Seems he doesn’t miss having to take of himself very much, after all.
He’s low maintenance, really. Content to sit surrounded by the dogs and work on crosswords by day and watch Turner Classic Movies by night. The physical adjustments for us are not difficult, but the mental ones are dangling like disconnected wires. Just knowing there is someone in the other room who may need me for something, makes it hard to focus on the things I usually do.
I feel as though I have fallen through a funnel and am reduced to a very narrow realm—the care of one.
Being a person of restlessness who always looks for something more, something greater, this “reduction” goes against my personality and rattles my privileged sense of independence, even though I long to do it well. And yet is it so small a thing to do?
I was reminded of the importance of the “one” during quiet time this morning.There are two clay angels on my mantle—one blowing a trumpet, the other holding a lamb. The trumpet angel is my favorite. It speaks of action, of proclamation, power, and things to come.
But it was the lamb-holding angel that drew my attention. I was trying to fathom the rejoicing in heaven over one who repents, as related by Luke in the parable of the lost sheep. Following that parable is one about a woman who rejoices over a coin that had been lost. We are told, likewise, “There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Imagine all that fuss about one.
Such is the heart of God.
May it be my heart.
My father-in-law’s parents were Jews from Russ Poland. Although he is not a religious Jew, he has never had anything to do with Jesus. Reluctantly, he used to tolerate our saying grace before meals, but last night, he teared up during grace in Jesus’ name and burst out with a hearty “Amen.”
To care for an elderly parent is simply “life.” But if I get to be a small part of God’s heart toward one during his last earth time, it is eternal reward.
I pray there will be rejoicing in heaven over this one lost lamb, Lord Jesus.
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”—Helen Keller