“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed…” and we wait…groaning inwardly, as we wait eagerly for our adoption—the redemption of these bodies…(Rom.8:19) these bodies—transient containers that give out… I sit in the Alzheimer’s ward babysitting (or was it visiting?) my dad.
He’s sacked out on a recliner, asleep, or approximately so, dead to the world, almost.
“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” (Rom.8:10)
These verses I’m committing to memory seem so apropos in this context. Somewhere inside this failing body waits a spirit, waiting to be released to Life unencumbered, the glory of the sons of God…
A grown daughter passes hurriedly, tearful after spending several hours with her incapacitated mother. “I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta get out of here” she mumbles as she heads for the door.
If my dad could speak, is this not what he would say? Oh to be delivered from this body of death. But mutely he sits, eyes downcast, drugged senseless, this man whose genes I have inherited, who has passed on this life I carry in my veins, and indirectly, this Life I carry in my soul. His God has become my God. And we both wait for that which is to come. He lingers in this ignoble, humble fashion—helpless, prodded awake, fed, changed, babied.
Around him mumbling, stuttering graying folk sit in stupors or uttering snatches of disjoint conversation, meaningless except perhaps in the recesses of distant memories. Others socialize in endless rounds of polite conversation. Who can make sense of it?
But then we make our shuffling pilgrimage to the little chapel down the hall. Mom sits at the piano. We kids take our seats on either side of Dad and we sing a medley of treasured old hymns:
“It is well with my soul”...
“…when darkness veils His lovely face, I trust in His unchanging grace. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay……On Christ the solid Rock I stand…”
“My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine…” our voices blend surrounding Dad, giving voice to his soul, calming and comforting him, and ourselves. “I’ll love Thee in life; I will love Thee in death. I’ll love Thee as long as Thou givest me breath…”
Tears overtake my singing for a moment. But there is sense, and hope…’the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don’t know what to prayer as we ought but He intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express…’ Rom.8:27-28
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Rom.8:29)
The wait is not forever and in my heart I concur with Paul, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom.8:17,18)
This too shall pass. The best years are yet to come. Together we wait.