The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, July 3, 2023, was written by Nancy Robinson from New Brunswick, Canada.
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Matthew 10:37-42 NRSV
STEPPING OUT IN FAITH
I wiped my tears as I hurried to my car after leaving the senior-care facility where my mother lived. She was 89 years old and had dementia. My heart was aching after saying goodbye; I didn't know when I'd see her again. My husband was an Anglican priest and had accepted a call to serve in a parish almost five hours away. I would no longer be able to visit my mom every day as I'd done for the past few years.
I loved my mother so much it hurt. Although she no longer spoke, she still recognized me when I visited. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, and she would touch my hair and adjust my scarf or necklace. I worried she wouldn't get the same care without me around, and I was afraid she would forget me.
Walking away from my mother to serve the Lord was a sacrifice. It took courage, faith, and a deep trust in God's promises never to leave me or her. Even when we cannot be present to care for our loved ones, God's presence holds them and doesn't let go. In response, we can step out in faith. We can entrust our loved ones to God's care and have confidence that God will strengthen us for our journey.
Caregiving for an aging parent can be a challenge, especially when the parent is battling dementia or Alzheimer's. It is difficult to watch someone, once vibrant and sharp, succumbing to physical and mental limitations. Yet, in our most challenging moments God is there to offer us encouragement, assurance, wisdom, and guidance. Ultimately, after we've done our best to care for our loved ones, we must place them in the hands of God, secured in the knowledge that God cares for them and us.
Dear God, thank you for caring for us and our loved ones. Give us strength to follow your call and serve you. Amen.