So I turned my back and as soon as I did, Ma, accidentally on purpose, tilted her glass and proceeded to pour its contents over her dinner, the table, and the floor. I say “accidentally” because if in fact, her brain were not bruised by Alzheimer’s, she would never do such a thing.
Yet she definitely did it on purpose. This was not a case of missing her mouth or knocking the glass over. She honed in on her water and carefully poured it over everything.
It’s just one of many things, heh heh and gritting my teeth, that she does that annoys me. There are others, like chewing her pills instead of swallowing them whole, getting up without assistance, tearing up tissues into little pieces and dropping them onto the floor, picking at her zipper until it breaks, and other behaviors that would qualify for the too much information label.
I wish I could say that I smiled sweetly, gently removed the glass from her hand, wiped up the mess, and thanked God for the opportunity to suffer for Christ, but I can’t.
I’ve never been one to suffer in silence.
Unfortunately, my knee-jerk reaction was to completely freak out and shout, “What the HELL are you’re doing?” while rudely ripping the glass from her hand, and engaging in an all-out tirade full of sound and fury about all the extra work, waste of good food, and the interruption of my day while mopping up the mess with a gross eruption of arms and dish towels.
Yeah, you read it right. I used the *h word. I swear when I’m freaking out. It isn’t godly and I wish I didn’t, but I do. Despite my best and worst efforts, the tongue remains unruly.
I did confess and seek forgiveness from the Lord. I can confess until the cows come home, but my repentance wears thin rather quickly. In fact, it only seems to last until the next time something freaks me out. Thank you, God, that your grace and forgiveness are forever. By the way, my mom forgave me too. She’s a trooper.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Now here’s the thing: Those times when I’m really tired or cranky, it’s hard to rest quietly in God’s grace. My thoughts go straight from forgiveness to failure and I end up feeling like the constant sinner who only got in on a technicality: I prayed the prayer; therefore God had to accept me. I know that’s not true, but during those times, it doesn’t feel like it. Instead, it feels like God is just about at the end of his tether with me. I start waiting for the proverbial hammer to come down. I don’t want to be a sinner anymore, constant or otherwise. I wish I could sweep my bad behavior under the rug. I tend to forget that God got rid of my sin long ago at the cross. He reminds me:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Today, while waiting for my emotions to reach a more even keel, I’m going to flood my mind with truth because it is truth that sets me free (John 8:32).
“For it is by grace [I] have been saved, through faith—and this is not from [myself], it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For [I am] God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do” (Ephesians 2:3-10).