Tuesday, July 12, 2005

With These Words

We recently visited my parents in Iowa. They are both dealing with varying degrees of Alzheimer’s. However, outside of the common old-age ailments, both are in great health. We took them in wheelchairs out to the patio of the care center where they now live. It’s hard to carry on an in-depth conversation with them now. Dad says he just doesn’t remember…and Mom can’t quite put a sentence together properly.

So we chatted about non-essential things while I filed their fingernails and patted their soft faces. I told them about their grandchildren and great-grandchildren they don’t get to see very often. Of course, they can’t remember who all I’m talking about, except that they are proud to have so many offspring. The important thing was we were together.

One of the things we do like to talk about is Jesus. That subject always brings smiles. And in the midst of their muddled minds, the awareness of His soon coming is topmost.

I remember them telling me in my growing up years how they had heard the Orson Welles’ tale on the radio that crazy day when people believed his drama to be an actual news report that the world was being attacked by aliens. They, too, were taken in by the report, but were not panicked by fear. Instead, they ran outside, and looking toward the skies, checked to see if Jesus was on the clouds, coming back as He promised…

Another time Mom and Dad told of a wonderfully awesome display of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). It was so spectacular that they scanned the skies for Jesus.

They still live in that expectation even now, at ages 90 and 88. They are looking for Jesus to come back any moment. It’s an exciting thought, filling them with hope.

Early in my life I learned the passage of scripture that has been alive in my heart ever since: I Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

The last words of that passage, “wherefore comfort one another with these words,” just explain it. My wonderful parents, even in this time of foggy memories, clearly remember the promises of the Word of God. And it brings comfort to them just talking about it.