Be still, and know that I am God!
As I walked into my 91 year-old dad's dementia care facility in Buckhead this past weekend, I found him in the common area behind all the ladies playing bingo. He was sitting upright in his chair with his eyes closed. I approached him, grabbed his hand, and said "Hello, Dad." Immediately his eyes opened as he said, "Hello, Son." It was obvious as I stirred him from his slumber and that there was a lot more pep to his step than usual.
We talked for a few moments and expanded our conversation circle to include all the ladies playing bingo. While doing 90% of the talking, I peppered the conversation with remembrances of years gone past. While it was obvious that Dad didn't remember, by the grin on his face, he clearly was taking delight in just hearing the stories.
After a couple of hours of sitting together, I said, "What do you now want to do, Dad?" He said, "C'mon." Helping him off the couch, I grabbed his hand as he then slowly led me down the hall. I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. Hand in hand, we walked, until we got to the end of the hallway.
Then Dad said, "Let's turn around." So we reversed course, grabbed opposite hands, and step by step continued to walk about as slowly as two people can walk. At first, I found myself a little impatient, wanting to walk faster. But that wouldn't do, so I relaxed and simply went at Dad's pace. We walked to the end of the hall. Dad said, "Let's turn around." So once again, we turned back around and started over again hand in hand.
As we walked, I began to call out all the names on the doorways as we passed. Many of Dad's neighbors greeted us as we walked by. We also took notice of all the impressionistic paintings on the wall. Much of the walking, however, was simply done in silence. We walked for 30 minutes and did 20 laps back and forth until Dad was finally called to dinner. I then hugged and kissed him and said good-bye.
The more I live the more I realize that "God moments" in life rarely come when we rush. They come as we slow down and simply be still and listen. I wouldn't trade those moments with Dad for anything, especially the walking.
Prayer for Today
Dear God, we thank you for our parents, who mean so much to us in so many ways that we don't fully understand until later in life. Help us to be still and know that you are God as we "be still" with those we love. Amen.