Why Alzheimer's? That's a question I'd like to ask God.
Yet, as devastating as that illness is, it did teach me a fascinating lesson
about God's perfect engineering as Dad's memory faded and he was slipping
I learned that the heart is truly a place separate from the mind. I learned
that the mind (or brain) may fail, but what remains mysteriously intact is the
heart and I don't mean the organ pumping blood but that warehouse of our
feelings, our attitudes, our ideals and, ultimately, our soul.
I learned this as Dad gave and received that equally hard-to-define
commodity called love. He followed through on his promise never to forget me,
and he gave me the assurance that he had trusted Jesus. These are hard concepts
to communicate when ones verbal skills are declining, and yet because of his
heart he communicated them to my satisfaction, a lasting gift that I hold
This lesson reminds me that God's plan is perfect. As we discuss in this
issue of On Mission, God provides us with the family that's just right
for each of us. Sure, some people wonder why God gave them this grandparent or
that in-law, but ultimately He knows best. His family combinations have an
eternal reason, even if they seem difficult and challenging at times.
Perhaps we learn about the Lord from our parents. Or as parents we're given
the opportunity to share His gift of love with our children and grandchildren.
These are awesome responsibilities.
But God provides the way. Even when communication is a challenge (and at
what age or stage in life is that not true?!). He levels the playing field by
giving us connections via that mysterious place called the heart. In families,
it's often a more intimate connection than with friends.
I was blessed with two parents who knew Jesus as their Savior and taught me
about Him. I've seen glimpses of my heavenly Father in their hearts as they
extended to me love when I wasn't lovable and provisions I could never earn for
Dad, an engineer himself, would be pleased with how neatly these lessons fit
together for my mother, my brother and myself. Dad liked things that worked.
And, like all fathers, he wanted to be heard. I've decided to take to heart one
of his last bits of fatherly advice: Don't worry so much.
You're right, Dad. I'll work on that.
Carolyn Curtis, editor, On Missionccurtis@namb.net
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