My recent reading of The First Phone Call from Heaven, by author Mitch Albom, where a character asks what is false about hope prompts this question. I don’t believe there is such a thing as false hope but instead the unreliability of the subject we place our expectations.
Neglecting the practice of giving thanks has darkened their minds.
~ Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
This I know is true; focusing on the negative is blinding. Following the February death of our parents, I found myself in a blue funk, a gloomy place with little interest in what normally brought pleasure. Yet today, as soft fluffy clouds float across a baby blue sky, nearly naked trees stretch their arms heavenward, and the smell of Mom’s stuffing tickles the nose, I find myself excited with anticipation for the day’s traditions and the making of memories with family and friends.
Driving past the family home as gloomy grayish blue clouds dim the brilliance of the autumn leaves, I noticed a piece of garbage in one of the flowerbeds. Making a mental note to stop on my way from work to pick up the unsightly litter, a whispering voice floated through my brain.
What are you doing about the messy state you allowed yourself to be in the last few months? What are you doing about the scattered indifference to the enjoyed interests that once reminded you of Me? I know you are grieving. However, you allow circumstances around you to dictate how you feel and respond. Wake up! Change your focus. I Am still here. Clear the debris and enjoy Me.
With the popularity of social media and the lack of teaching the social graces, sending greeting cards through the postal service may become a lost art. Do not jump to any conclusions. I appreciate greetings sent electronically just as much. However, there is a different aspect to receiving a folded sheet of card stock with a pretty graphic and printed sentiment. It is a physical expression of one’s love and care. So, today, this first birthday without a card from Mom and Dad, I will reminisce over my collection of cards received over the years and frequently read Isaiah 43:1-3; tangible reminders I am valuable and not forgotten.
Despite the ugliness of Alzheimer’s with its thievery, the soul of the person remains. Thankfully, God does not forget and knows we need those brief reminders, those moments of clarity that give us a snippet of respite from an otherwise devastating thief. (Isaiah 42:16, Isaiah 43:1-3)