In the five years since Mom's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease, I have learned a little bit about the Lord's love for her. He loves her intensely, passionately, and with a Holy focus and constancy that is not mirrored perfectly by any human experience or emotion. It is a little bit like the first flush of romantic love, when the beloved consumes one's every waking thought. It is perhaps most like a mother's intense, protective love for her tiny and helpless baby.
God's love for Mom isn't much at all like a child's love for her parent. Child-love is somewhat selfish, and that's how I loved my mother before I became her caregiver. I was the child of a mother who always put my needs ahead of her own. I expected this of her, and even into adulthood I was guilty of acting churlish toward her if ever she seemed to neglect me. When I began to understand that the Lord had anointed me to be Mom's caregiver, I found that the love I'd held for her as my mother was completely insufficient to move me to serve her needs as the Lord was asking me to do.
When my mother became ill, I didn't at first understand that the Lord expected me to manifest His love to her. I had the idea that the Lord's love would back-light my determination to be a good daughter, and I went forward in human strength. Out of my intense need for my mother's love and terrible grief over the prospect of losing her, I fought hard to provide the best of care for her; but I couldn't sustain the effort. As a newly diagnosed Alzheimer patient, Mom viewed my efforts to help her as being intrusive. When human love is met with resistance or ingratitude, resentment and anger is the natural result.
God's love for Mom has nothing to do with whether or not she deserves it. God's love for her has to to with God Himself. Mom belongs to Him, and so as a sheep in His pasture, He cares for her according to His own Holy standards. I remember the discomfort of the dawning realization that the Lord had chosen me to be a human vessel through which He would manifest His love for His beloved Anna Ruth. He is the One and Only God, the God whose Holy love allowed Him to sacrifice His own son in order to reconcile fallen, sinful humans. His love is not reasonable or logical. There is no consideration of cost, no balance sheet that weighs Mom's needs against mine, no remonstrance saying, "You've got to consider your own needs and those of your family." God has never once said to me, "You've got to take care of yourself." He expects me to trust that He is my caregiver.
I have learned to respect God's love for my mother. In learning of God's love for Mom and how He expects me to manifest that love, I've gained a greater awareness of His love for me.
Scripture: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you," (John 15:12).