My Dad is struggling and so weak and frail. He’s back in a rehab facility, after another stay in the hospital. It’s hard to know how to help him. Last night, I felt so hopeless to do anything that didn’t just seem to annoy him, though all I was doing was trying to help.
Then I read a memory from five years ago that Facebook shared with me, about how Mama had Dad with her through the hard things. It warmed my heart and made me grieve at the same time. I wish Dad had Mama to help him through this hard time….
I keep thinking about my mom’s dentist appointment the other week. As we were seated waiting for her name to be called, Dad had his arm around Mom and she had her head on his chest. She said, “I hurt. You have to help me.” (Mom has frequent stomach aches. We’ve had all I kinds of tests done and concluded it comes from irritable bowel. She’s on different meds, but nothing seems to really help.)
Dad squeezed her shoulder and said, “I am helping. I’m here.”
She clings to him more. I think she is anxious being in this building she doesn’t remember, and repeats, “You have to help me.”
“I am,” Dad patiently repeats in a calming voice. “I’m here with you.”
When her name is called Dad gets up with her and puts his hand on her shoulder (to guide him because his vision is so poor) and shuffles along behind. As they work on her teeth the dentist pulls a chair up close to Mom so Dad can hold her hand through it all.
I wish Daddy had the comfort of Mama’s presence through all this. And yet I’m grateful she doesn’t have to go through the pain of seeing Dad so weak and frail and often confused.
Dad doesn’t have Mama. But he does have his children. We are with him daily. I hope our presence is helping.
And we all have the presence of God with us.
Seeing Dad struggle is so hard. I cry out to God, “Please help us.”
God is powerful and sovereign and He could “fix” everything if He chose to. Sometimes He does. And sometimes, for reasons I don’t understand, He doesn’t.
But He says in a still, calm voice, “I am here with you.”
This morning I woke up, and the feeling of concern for my dad instantly weighed on my heart. I thought of Elisha, in 2 Kings 6: 15 -18. Elisha’s servant saw that they were surrounded by enemies and asked what they were going to do. Elisha told him not to be afraid, because those with them outnumbered their enemies.
Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” And the Lord did! And the servant saw they were surrounded by “chariots of fire”! A whole army of angels there for them!
Abba Father, I pray you would open my eyes today. Show me Your presence with us and surrounding us, please. And especially I pray that You would reveal Yourself to Dad. I pray that he would know the comfort of being held close by you. I pray that he would hear Your whisper, “I am here with you.”