By Victor Sanchez
Warworn: adjective – Showing the effects of war or military service
She looks around in confusion. Sitting up she has the look of anticipation and fear. “What are they going to do to me?” Covers her face as she waits. The seconds pass like hours. A warm spoonful of blended soup passes over her lips. As she recognizes the sensation she knows that it is time to eat. She takes a mouthful and her instincts kick in as she chews her dinner. All that’s left of a powerful spiritual-warrior is her frail physique, and she depends on the kindness of her family to keep her alive.
Alzheimer’s is an awful disease. I hate every second that it has rodded me of my mother. When I was a boy, my mother brought me to church. And against my will, I sat through countless sermons. I really didn’t understand most of them, and for the most part, I was just content with crawling under the pews or hiding in the bathroom until the service was over. As the years passed, I found myself looking for God without my mother’s direction. As a young man exploring this new faith I once again found myself listening to sermons. “God wants you to prosper”. “Christians are not called to suffer”, seemed to be the theme. Those churches packed the house whenever that preacher came to town. As most young men, I made a lot of mistakes and found myself in circumstance that I shouldn’t be in. When things didn’t go my way, I felt abandoned by God. I felt like I was an unwanted child that was tolerated like a stray dog. All I could think of was God didn’t want me to go through this, yet here I am. This must mean that my conversion wasn’t real or that it’s true for everyone else, except for me.
Do you find yourself upon the shore of an unfamiliar circumstance? Do you find yourself questioning God?
Time passed and my faith and walk wasn’t much more than a halfhearted effort. I mean, why bother trying and crying when in the end my circumstance is just like everyone else. After much wasted time, I remembered my Savior. He dined with sinners and the forgotten lot of humanity. He came down out of heaven, born in a cave, wrapped in rags, and raised in a home where people made fun of His family; and He suffered alongside us, and died amongst us. He was buried in a borrowed tomb because he was poor. The only ones that remembered Him at His death were the outcasts of society. A Man of sorrows, the Creator of the Universe killed by His creation.
I had missed the point. We are not of this world (John 17:16) but we are in it. We are to be a light to this world. A candle that gives light burns itself. Its glorious purpose eventually consumes it till it is no more, but in its sacrifice illuminates those in darkness. We are not called to suffer, but to prosper. But not in the way we might think. We do not suffer because we have hope, and we prosper in our faith and spiritual wealth.
As I see my mother in her frail condition, I can’t help but smile at times as I pass her room. You see I love weapons, go figure, right? A weapon is cool. I can hop on eBay and order a Viking inspired, mass produced sword, complete with matching scabbard. And it’s a steal for only $49.99+s&h, but all it is a cheap copy of what it is trying to imitate. A real Viking era sword goes for thousands, and some are just priceless. The reason that some of these rusted chipped swords are so costly is because they were used in actual battle. The chips, breaks and stains tell a story solidified in its imperfections and frailty. My mother’s body bears the marks of a spiritual warrior, and her story is priceless.
My mother’s condition has taught me this: Although all I can do at this point is to bandage the wounds that time has caused, I do so in hope and faith. My momentary pain is not just about me but about what I can point to. My Risen Christ is my hope as He is my Mother’s. The story of Job has never made any more sense to me like it has now. And although I have not suffered as Job did, I too can say, “Though my flesh be destroyed yet with my eyes I WILL see God.”
Mother’s, do not lose heart when your kids kick against going to church. It is because of you that a lot of us remember who we are.
Father’s, show your children and wives that it takes a real man to serve the Living God.
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