Friday, July 26, 2013

Rock of the Aged

Malachi 4:6 "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers."

In recent months, the past experiences and defined roles of children and parents, reversed. My husband's mother and father awake to a time in their life when decisions become wreckless, memory escapes them,  anxiety and fear walk with them in every feeble step,  and restless lonliness seem their only companion. New responsibilities and awareness, along with the tangible hands-on activities of  provider/caretaker progress despite high resistance. Yes, a burden we are enduring with God's wisdom and patience.

Still possessing a driver's license, small trips turned into hours of driving lost and confused. The last time, in early summer, they went missing for over a day and a half. Found somewhat safe, no where near their original destination, it became apparent that driving privleges needed to be voided; not by them, but by us (and the police) after this very worrisome and dangerous outing.

Mom and Dad refuse to understand, to accept many facts. Their unpleasant words, and defiance at our attempt to help them and care for them becomes an emotional place where God must intervene, for our tender hearts and minds remember something...someone different.

Providentially, a wonderful man at our church has started workshops for support and answers to many questions dealing with the elderly and dementia.  My brother-in-law received wise counsel and legal advise from his circle of church friends. We talk frequently and move forward, all on the same page to accomplish their complete care despite all the "kicking and screaming."

After the incident when they went missing, God brought a wonderful verse to me in my morning devotions, Psalm 149:4 (NASV): "He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation." As scripture does so perfectly, it spoke to me, as He has in other situations. The Lord's got this.

 I cannot know how or begin to understand His plan and purpose, but know that Christ endured the Cross for us in love despite His painful scourgings, his beard ripped out, his side pierced. Then he went to the Cross where our own "afflictions" became beautified.  Believing in that great love, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to endure, to gain wisdom, to have Hope, when others do not.  We need to exemplify that Hope in every touch, every word, every decision we make, to be the Christ to other's who do not know Him.

While digging up a flower bed this last week, my spade hit a little rock. I dug it up and put it aside with my other gardening debris. When I went to clean up, I picked up the rock and brushed off the dirt chunks around it. It was a perfectly shaped heart. Dark and buried, but still, a heart-shape, my mind immediatley thought about my in-laws.  God beautifies even dark and hard hearts and I shall plant the flowers of grace around it.

Father God, fill our hearts with right thinking, with words that soothe and with compassion. We pray for your protection from those who choose to take advantage, who elicit entitlement, and wish to deceive. Guide us to encouragement through Your Godly wisdom. May minds be clear enough to understand love of family, the love of God. Amen.


  1. This reminds me of the cycle of life and how we all must learn to live in the season we are in.

  2. Beautiful, apropos, and touching, Coleene, Thank you. FYI we were blessed to have some of the defiance and resistance go away for this time and we are so grateful to God because we know it could be fleeting. Praying for you...