Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coming Home: Going Home, part 7

It has been nearly three weeks since I wrote the previous installment of this series of posts concerning my mom, her children, and our journey in hospice care.  When we started on this journey six weeks ago our mom was very ill and we, my siblings and I, were committed to doing what we could to keep her in her home, expecting that the time we would do so wouldn’t be more than a few weeks.  While our mom has improved physically she continues to need care and what has worked for six weeks is reaching an end.  Anticipating the possibility that a change would be needed I asked the question, “Now what?” in my last post. 

Today the answer to that question is that she is “Coming home.”  Not “home” in the eternal sense that this series title, “Going Home,” points to, but the home where my wife, our daughter and I live.  At the end of this week we will be bringing my mom home to live with us.

I could list a bunch of reasons why we are doing this.  Reasons that make us out to be great and wonderful people.  But those would really just be false reasons; illusions that make us appear to be people that we are not.  The real reason we are bringing my mom into our home is not that we are great and wonderful, but because God is great and wonderful.  He has created the circumstances that make this option of care possible and He has opened our eyes and hearts to serving Him in this way. 

Two pieces of scripture come to mind as I think about this, Psalm 139:16 and Ephesians 2:10.  The psalmist writes,

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

And Paul writes,

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Usually when I think of this verse from Psalm 139 it is in terms of life’s great struggles or its great joys.  I marvel to think that all of the moments of every life are held in God’s knowledge before they happen.  That their very happening, and the results yet to come from them, have been known by God eternally.  But God’s eternal knowledge also applies to the things I consider to be quite ordinary.  Such as being able to provide a safe and caring place for my mom within our home.

And Paul reminds us that the things we find before us to do are things that have been prepared for us by God.  As we live with faith in Christ we are to look and listen for the places and purposes that God is calling us to. 

A number of years ago a friend gave me a short list of questions to think about when you are trying to understand if God is calling you to a task.  They are:

  1. Is it something that God wants done?
  2. Does it match and challenge your particular gifts?
  3. Is it work that you find internally meaningful?
  4. Do others affirm you in doing this?

As far as bringing my mom into our home to live with our family each of these questions has “Yes!” as an answer.  We are particularly thankful for the encouragement, the support, and especially the prayers of our family and friends for this part of the journey.  We can’t do this on our own, nor would we want to. 

To my friend’s original list I would add one more question; “Is God glorified in the task?”

As I noted earlier we are bringing my mom into our home because God is great and because God is wonderful.  We want to care for my mom in a way that points people to God, a way that points people toward His mercy and His grace.  We want to care for her in a way that opens hearts to God’s unfailing love.  And most of all, we want God to be glorified in each and every thing that we do, for my mom, and in every part of our lives.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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