Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Funny( 10/04/12)
The Sting is Taken Away
By Jana Kelley
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She is lying in bed with the covers pulled around her. Her head rests on the pillows that I fluffed and arranged for her before she went to sleep. No one else is in the room. Her hair is brushed and her curls lie softly against her head. Her face is washed and her nightgown is fresh and clean. Her glasses are on the nightstand and the lamp is turned off.
Funny how she is still talking in the dark.
She calls the meeting to order and asks each Sunday School teacher to give a report. She stops every few minutes to pray for a sick child, a lady who has been absent for several weeks, a teacher who is struggling with how to guide his or her Sunday School class. She claps and laughs in delight when one of her imaginary teachers gives a report of a new Sunday School member or a testimony of salvation.
Funny how she remembers all their names but she doesn’t remember mine.
I sit in the den on her recliner and read a book. It is going to be a long night. I can’t sleep while she is holding her Sunday School Teacher’s meeting in her room. She is loud and her creaky voice never stops. She leads a song to close the meeting and then starts up a new one. She calls role, she asks for reports...again.
Funny how I thought I could handle this. But now I don’t think I can.
Dementia is like this, they say. And I don’t think I can stand to watch this horrible sickness take her away. Why, O Lord? I look at the book in my lap. I can’t read it. I can’t pay attention to the happy-go-lucky story in a cheap novel while my mother is encouraging the invisible teachers to never give up on their students.
Church was my mother’s life. She loved the members of her church, even the hard to love ones. She taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training. She volunteered in the library and always gave sacrificially when a missionary came to speak. But that’s not all. Mother studied God’s Word every day and she could quote large portions of Scripture without even stopping to think. And then I stop and pay attention to what she is really saying...
Funny how the Lord speaks to me through my mother’s dementia.
Mother is not losing her life to dementia. She is glorifying God in the midst of it. With her words, she is speaking back to the Heavenly Father the life she lived for Him on earth. With everything she has, which is not much these days, she is giving God glory; like she always has.
Funny how the sting of dementia is suddenly taken away.
It has no hold on her love for God. My mother will glorify God with whatever crosses her path, be it a Sunday School meeting, or a sickness. And through His power I, too, can laugh at the days to come. My mother is setting the example.
Funny how God speaks to His children in unexpected ways.
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