Camping at Sandi’s bedside at the nursing home, watching her helplessly lie in bed, sleeping much of the time, struggling to give her drink with a straw and solid food with a spoon, is causing me to reflect more on life. I’m coming to grips accepting the fact that she’s dying. There are few precious moments when she smiles, converses, and sometimes even jokes, with her own brand of humor.
Although I’ve been helping Sandi, she’s given me much. She’s admonished me when I’ve expressed sinful anger at people who wronged me. When I started gloating over someone who hurt me having a difficult time, she reminded me “they are people.”
The Serenity Prayer helps comfort me:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”
My problem, my dilemma, is that I want the world as I would have it. In the 2 ½ years I’ve known Sandi, I’ve become very attached to her. Seeing her lying here, now sleeping, I’ve forgotten what a pain she can be sometimes, and how I wanted to get rid of her and how I took her for granite. This is a game changer!
I ask “why”! I then realize that we will not always know why, but in faith remember that God works all things together for good for those who love the Lord. I have, however, realized some good in this situation. People at the nursing home are amazed, touched that someone would stand by a loved one this much in this situation. Jesus is reflected. God continues to teach me compassion for others, to put myself in their shoes.
What I can change, is Sandi’s attitude. As our pastor told me, it’s good that she knows she’s loved. During this last health episode, when I asked her, Sandi said “Jesus is in my heart.”
Sandi was part of a population that is forgotten by society, especially in Bucks County, PA – the homeless. They do not contribute to the surface glitter of those hung up in personal peace and prosperity. As Detective Frank Thorn shouts as he’s taken away in the sci-fi movie Soylent Green, “Soylent Green is people!”, the homeless are people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green
People have intrinsic value; we are made in the image of God, who breathed life into us.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.… -Genesis 1: 26-28