For the past two months John has been speaking frequently about going to heaven. This past week he has been doing this increasingly and there is a deep, vast longing in his eyes when he speaks about it. I believe the Spirit must be preparing him for that holy journey.
It is interesting to me that the timing is near the Feast of Shavuot (or Pentecost), the celebration of the great wheat harvest! For the Jewish people it is also the remembrance of the giving of the Torah (the Law) at Mount Sinai. Yoram Ettinger writes, "Shavuot is a historical, national, agricultural, and spiritual extension of Passover. Passover highlights the physical liberty from slavery in Egypt; Shavuot highlights spiritual liberty, embracing the values of the Torah, the Ten Commandments." We have lost two dear friends recently, wonderful men of God whom we dearly loved. Perhaps this is a time when the LORD is bestowing physical and spiritual liberty upon some of His faithful followers.
I don't know the deepest thoughts of God. His ways are higher than mine, for sure! But I have two friends who keep reminding me to "turn your waiting into a classroom!" I do know that is a spiritual principle for this time between Passover and Shavuot. We are to go through the Refiner's Fire during these days in order to be made into the image of our Messiah Yeshua, and ready to stand before Him at His coming in glory.
So, what have I learned in this Counting-of-the-Omer classroom? What have I been asking the Teacher to teach me? Mostly patience. The waiting thing is not my best attribute! I still cry out to God to deliver John of all his pain and to help his brain to find words and lost memories, but that is not happening. And so I wait for the full and final healing, the desire of John's heart, the transition to His heavenly home.
A friend sent me a book this week and I read it cover-to-cover in the past two days. It is written by Cynthia Fantasia, another woman who took care of her husband stricken with Alzheimers Disease until he passed away. Her faith was deep and strong, but she lays bare the painful journey in all its raw struggles. Those of us who are married made vows to one another on our wedding day and many of us said, "....for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse" we would remain faithful. Fantasia writes, "These days are the poorer, the sickness and the worse of the vows we made." Some days that has been true. But other days there has been joy, real joy, in watching John accomplish things he didn't think he could do, singing every word of the worship songs that are still engraved on his heart, and taking little drives so that he could marvel at the wonder of a thunderstorm and the beauty of all the blossoming trees and flowers.
Yesterday I had a business appointment and one of my respite care guys came to stay with John while I was gone. Apparently he asked Jeff where I was and Jeff told him, "She had an appointment this morning." When I got back home, John met me at the back door with an anxious expression, his arms, wrapped around me in a caring, concerned hug, and he said, "Are you going to be OK?" He had thought I went to the doctor. What a blessing to see his love and care for me peek through the Dementia fog!
Fantasia closes her chapters with these small pieces of wisdom:
"Stand at the Jordan River waiting for God to tell you when and where to cross. He will.
Weep deeply over the life you hoped would be.
Grieve the losses.
Then wash your face.
Embrace the life you have.
Kelly Ferrari Mills