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In my life I have experienced many images that have stuck with me for a life time. Today, I was driving home after dropping off our little ones at school (my wife works Fridays) and as I drove by, I saw an elderly lady with her walker, bent down, walking slowly up her driveway into her home.
I thought, wow, I have been there.
There are many things we have not experienced up close. I have never surfed a big wave, I have never danced ballet in a theater, I have never closed a big money business deal. I have seen those things done, and could tell you how they look, but physically and emotionally, I have not been there.
We all have things that we’ve never experienced. I am amazed at how many of my friends now in their mid 30’s and 40’s have never experienced love for their own child (because they don’t have children), have never experienced legal status issues of worry and fear, the death of a parent or husband or wife, have never experienced living with an elderly person.
When I saw that lady on the walker, I thanked God that I have been there. My abuelita who died a year ago, lived in our home and was on a walker for about 3 months. She fought it, hated it, thought it was too ‘old’ for her…funny.
I lived with that every day. The pace, the pain, the noises from her room, my own pain of seeing my dear grandmother suffer. Then the gains, the recuperation, the scar healing, the bags around her leg after her knee surgery when she took a ‘leg shower’. I experienced the discomfort, the nuisance, the humanity of her pain, her struggle and her life and it made me a better human being.
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I remember after her surgery, she had to stay in a recovery home for 2 weeks, because of Medi-Cal issues. The first night we left her there, she cried. I cried all the way home. Every night, she would cry, and I cried every time on my way home. Two weeks later, I brought her back to our home.
I know friends that have experienced the serious illness of their child, divorce, a broken marriage. I am thankful I have not experienced those things. Well, when our 4 year old had her tonselectomy a year ago, that was pretty bad, but not life threatening.
Pain is an important part of life. Discomfort and dark times are necessary for the soul to expand. We can live our lives secluded from such things (not sure how…) but some try. Or we can welcome them, struggle through them and grow in our trust in God, in Jesus’ power to overcome evil in this world.
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When I saw that lady, I thought of my dear abuelita, and I thanked God that I had the chance to experience first hand her pain and her recovery and eventually her death. I was there during the last 15mns. of her life.
I am not glad those things happened, but I’m thankful for the character and shaping they’ve done in my heart. And one day, when I am in a walker, or at the end of my life, I can have greater assurance and confidence that Jesus Christ, my King and Savior is with me.
What is the image in your life you’re seeing pass before your eyes? Are you running from the image, from the walker and the pain of it all? Are you giving into it and losing the battle? Are you running towards it or away from it, trying to find a way out that does not include surrender.
Don’t run from pain, don’t worry because your life is imperfect. Welcome that, it’s a part of our human experience. Allow it to envelope you, to in some ways overwhelm you, because there you will experience the nearness of Jesus, His grace and His kiss of comfort. I have felt that.
Have a great day.
Into the future,