Monday, August 12, 2019

Everything is Beautiful

My mom has dementia. I am not her caregiver, my dad handles everything. I know a lot of caregivers who are taking care of family members suffering from this horrible disease. I told Daddy that mama isn't the one suffering, it's us.

Mama is happy. She sings all the old hymns. Randomly. While she's eating. In the middle of your sentence.. or her own. lol. She's as content as she can be. This was the first time she didn't know me at all. She usually figures it out after I am there a while. But not this day. It was hard on me - even though she was just as chipper as she could be.

Even though she cannot remember, I have lots of memories of the things we used to do. We were good friends and worked in ministry together often. It doesn't seem fair. She was vibrant, joyful, super talkative - never met a stranger. Mama was a Bible student and taught any time she was asked to. She was a Sunday School teacher, evangelist, youth pastor, and pastored a couple of times. How is it fair that she has no words now?

My heart was crushed and I kept thinking about Solomon and his writings in Ecclesiastes. Everything indeed seems to be in vain and we all have the same end. Eventually, we all die. All of us. None is exempt. So this morning I read all 12 chapters. I was looking for something- I'm not sure what. Validation for my feelings? Hope for my heart?  I do not know. But I found this one verse.

The first few verses of chapter 3 is a familiar passage. It's been used as lyrics for secular and Christian music alike. It's poetic and powerful. A time for everything. Life and death, riches and poverty, health and sickness. But as I read on, verse 11 stopped me in my tracks. It says: everything is beautiful in its time. How is this beautiful? My mom (and son too for that matter) is gone while the body is still here. She's not the person she used to be. How is that beautiful?

Then I realized that we caregivers - family members - loved ones - and friends - are making it a beautiful story. One of grace. One of reliance upon God no matter what. One of undying love for a mom, wife, friend. That's beautiful. Mama is beautiful too - just singing those ole hymns. Because, as one friend put it "it's part of her spirit just like the sun is part of God's universe." Yeah, that's it - even in death our spirits are hidden in Him- our promise of life with Him is uninterrupted by death... or life.

Today, I'll focus on finding the beauty of each moment. My thoughts will be on how He still protects our hearts, how He keeps our souls. I'll be thankful that He keeps that part of us even if the rest of us is wasting away. I'll trust Him to bring beauty out of the ashes of this life. Will you join me?

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