We can’t fix some problems this side of heaven. Yet, some we can.
Friday is my day to stay with Mom, who suffers a chronic illness that has stolen her strength and much of her independence. I can’t fix those physical problems but I can make her more comfortable and give her a day to shine.
She squinted her eyes and shot me the wary glance I expected. “I’ve never done that.”
“After today, you can’t say that.” I gave her my biggest grin, wiggled my eyebrows, and said “You’ll love it. I promise.” Her squint relaxed. Mom leaned back in her recliner and smiled. I hurried to the bathroom for supplies before she could change her mind.
For the next hour, I gently washed my mother’s paper-thin skin and slathered lotion over her arms, hands, and legs. The Nike, Just-Do-It symbol on her socks beckoned next. “Mom, let’s do your feet now. There is nothing like a foot rub. It’s the next best thing to heaven if you ask me.”
I peeled off the right sock. A layer of dead cells fell like winter’s dusting of snow to the carpet. Her foot in my lap, I buffed the peeling dead skin. With four squirts of lotion, my fingers kneaded her heels and arches.
As I reached for her left foot, Mom asked, “Why are you going to all this trouble?”
“Why? Because you deserve it. To make you feel good … special …” Really why … to draw her close. To make up for the times my first-born, independent ways held her at arm’s length. To try to heal wounds I may have caused through the years.
As I left that day, her voice wrapped around my heart like a warm blanket. “I enjoyed your being here so much. And I appreciate everything you did. You’re coming back next Friday, aren’t you?”
We can’t fix some problems this side of heaven. Yet, some we can. And we must.
O Lord, I will praise You; Though you were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. (Isaiah 12:1, NKJV)
©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.