A procession of cars pulled up in front of the house and we piled out. Young and oldish and middle-aged, we navigated the slick drive-way and up the front stairs to surprise her. And even though she can barely see, she heard us and knew, by our voices, who we were. As we sang and talked and hugged, she sat and softly spoke and cried a little. And it struck me, not for the first time, how small her world was. Her continuing health issues combined with her accident a few years ago left her with limited opportunities to venture out. She can’t cook anymore. It’s hard to read because of her eyesight. Her everyday life consists of her husband, beloved pooch, whatever’s on TV and the four walls of her home. She’s loved and valued by her husband, kids, friends and church family, but its different now. There’s no Christmas shopping trips or Candle-light services or family visits to make. The only time she goes out is to go to her doctor’s office.
Her once large, full, health-filled world is small now.
Text’s, phone calls and pictures fly back and forth announcing a great-niece and a great-nephew born within a month. Both healthy and sweet and precious. Both beautiful little lives born into loving homes with parents who adore them. They’re dependent for food and clothing and washing and everyone around them loves to serve them. It’s not a chore; it’s a privilege to wait on these little ones and nurture them. And they don’t go anywhere unless someone else takes them. Their worlds consist of their parents and pets and in large part, the four walls of their homes.
Right now, in these young lives, the world is small.
It’s not a new comparison or an original thought, but it hit me again yesterday that (if we live a long life) we enter and depart this world in similar states: fragile and dependent.
So why is the fragility and dependence of a baby heart-warming and the same in old-age is despised? Why is it not revered?
Per usual, I have no answers…lots more ideas and thoughts but no answers.
The whole thought does, however, make me even more sensitive to the aging and ailing and those confined to their homes.
God wasn’t like the Great and Terrible Oz who thundered from behind a curtain and made people come to Him. He came in the most helpless state of all so He could be with us and live among us. He didn’t stay in Heaven where He’s comfortable and worshiped and known. He stepped into our darkness and into the cramped space of human flesh and bones so that He could walk with us.
Who needs you this Holiday season to step out of your four walls to visit theirs? Who needs you to leave your comfortable spot and enter into their life?