I listened to a powerful message by Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church, and he said something that gave me the title of this post. He spoke of David, who was anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel to replace Saul. After David killed Goliath, Saul became jealous, and the people were paying more attention to David than to Saul. This jealousy messed with Saul’s mentality to the point that on many occasions he attempted to kill David. There came a time when David was so close to Saul he could have killed him, but chose differently. He told King Saul that he could not touch what God had anointed. David had the audacity to honor someone whose desire was to snuff out his life; he chose not to take Saul’s life, though he had the opportunity to do so.
I cannot tell you how many times I have wished I could just go somewhere and not come back, in the attempt to not deal with being a caregiver. Remembering the hurtful words said to me, losing sleep because I was being yelled at when it was 3am, which added to days of sleep deprivation, loss of focus at work, wanting to get away but did not have the means to do so, constant worry of how to resolve issues of frustration that seemed to evolve into despair. But…I must honor my mother. It is what God commands of me.
“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 2, 3
Because God commands it, I must have the audacity to honor her. Though we read in the news of arguments between parents and their children that cause physical harm towards one another, this is not what God would have us to do. Regardless of goes on, she is still my mother, and as she took care of me, it is now my turn to do the same for her. Yes, there are challenges. Yes, I am learning when it is time for me to take a time out ( that term has a different meaning now than when I was a child), which may mean going somewhere and doing something different to temporarily get away for it all. Nevertheless, what is in the forefront remains: the word honor is of importance.
Honor for this context includes handling her financial affairs, bringing her a pack of socks when she says she needs them, going to the many stores and finally discovering a box of her favorite Mr. Goodbars candy, and unloading them all in my cart (taking them to her and seeing her smile as she gobbles a couple of them), washing and ironing her clothes in hopes of her allowing me to take her to church on a Sunday, are examples of how I honor my mother, my attempt in holding her in high esteem through my actions.
This is a far cry from a few months ago when we lived together and the constant arguments we had. Now that she is in a nursing home where she is being cared for her dementia illness, the arguing has greatly diminished, but the caregiver responsibility remains a continual process. Yet it must be done, and with God’s help my act of honoring her will be audacious.
To caregivers out there, I hope you can do the same.