Saturday, February 4, 2012
Fresh Grace by Carolyn
Tiptoeing into the dark room, I thought Helen would be asleep. To my surprise, when I reached her bedside she was staring at the wall. When I called her name quietly, she turned and looked at me. "Hi, Helen. How nice to see you again. Since you are awake, I'd like to visit for awhile." Helen has end stage Alzheimer's. I began singing in my softest voice, "Abide With Me."
Dorothy was awake in her wheel chair in the t.v. room. But her head was down as if she were staring at the floor. She wasn't alone. There were many others either asleep, or looking distantly around them. Some were watching t.v. The aid told me that I could take Dorothy to her room. I did. Speaking ever so softly to the top of her head, I said, "Hi, Dorothy. I've come to sing some of your favorite hymns. Perhaps you'd like to sing with me." Dorothy also has end stage Alzheimer's.
These dear, precious women appear to be trapped inside their bodies and perhaps they are, but maybe not. I don't know how Jesus reaches in and grabs their hearts, minds, and souls, but I must do what I can to encourage and comfort them. Singing to them comforts them like singing a lullaby to a baby comforts it. They listen. When the singing stops they grow fitful and restless until it starts again, or they fall asleep.
There are stories in the Bible about those who were trapped. One is the story of the Healing of the Boy With the Evil Spirit. Though the disciples tried they could not drive out the the spirit. This boy could not hear words of comfort when possessed. He could not express himself. Frustrated with His disciples, Jesus rebukes them and then turns to the boy's father. The Father is unsure Jesus can help. Jesus tells him everything is possible for him who believes. And then the famous outcry, "I do believe. I do believe. Help me with my unbelief!" Immediately, Jesus heals the boy. What happened? Faith happened. And Jesus said, "This kind come out only by prayer." The disciples did not understand. The evil spirit understood and left the boy.
The other is Acts 19:13-16 when some went around driving out evil spirits invoking the name of Jesus when they were actually pretenders who knew nothing about Jesus at all. The evil spirits did. One even said so. When called to come out by these counterfeiters the spirit said, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?"
While personal to me in my situation this may be applicable to those of you who face similar situations. Disease is evil. But all evil is under God's control and can be used for His good purposes. I may presume on God's grace, or doubt His power, but fresh grace and power are just a prayer away. I do not have the power to comfort these women. All I can do is pray that Jesus will give me what we need each time I am with them. I never, ever have God's power in my control. I need Him anew every day. I must never, ever forget to pray before I try to help.