Thursday, July 26, 2012

Call Button

I spent the whole day getting Grandma settled in the new Assisted Living Center. I have to say I am emotionally drained but it looks like all will be well. The staff there are among the most caring, wonderful people I have ever met. The Director of the whole place even helped me install the cable TV! Asherel made a gorgeous sign, a work of art complete with realistic flowers along the border, with a reminder for Grandma to never try to stand up without pushing the call button for help. She is still weary and weak from the trek from Florida, and another fall would be very bad right now. She hates asking for help...but sometimes, it is the better part of valor to know when one needs help. We all need help at times, and it is very hard for proud, independent people who have scrapped their way through many difficulties to recognize when it is best to just let others assist.
"I don't want to bother them with my every need," she told me.
"But that's why you are here!" I exclaimed, "And that is why THEY are here!"
As I was trying to understand why she would endanger her life and not be using the call button, she finally told me, "But they are all strangers!"
The director was with us at the time and he said, "They are now, Gert, but they soon will not be."
That is true. And nothing changes a stranger into an beloved angel of love and mercy faster than helping you do the private things you thought no one else should ever need to help you do. Especially if they do it while according you dignity and respect. By the end of the day, I think we had convinced her she must use the call button. Every aid, nurse, and doctor that walked in the door, held her hand and told her they were there to help her, and she must please please please, always use the call button. I will be back this morning to see how the night went, and I am praying that strangers were becoming angels for her.

As always, watching her situation unfold reminded me of a deeply important spiritual truth. We ALL have a call button, called Prayer, and we all hesitate to use it sometimes because of independence and pride. We think we can do it on our own, and why should we bother the Creator of the Universe with our petty needs? We are sometimes even embarrassed that we need help, we who have always believed we are self sufficient. And what makes us worms think He, the Great One, will listen to us anyway? We forget that He is the One that provided the Call Button in the first place! And He sends a whole host of workers our way, whose most noble purpose is to serve each other on His behalf. But sometimes, even the Director sees how important it is to drop by now and then, touch our shoulder, and remind us that we are not strangers, but friends.

2 Samuel 22:7, 17-20, 33-37 (NIV)
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. [18] He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. [19] They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. [20] He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. [33] It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. [37] You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.

-save a dog-

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