A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to re-do a little upstairs bedroom in our old farmhouse. OK, let's be honest here; I am the one who made the remodeling decision. Poor Farmer John is so busy in the hayfield and so tired when he comes home at night that he would not have initiated such a project, although to his credit he helped me with every phase of the process. At times (when texturing the ceiling, for example) he took over the work altogether.
Our house is nearly 100 years old, and has its idiosyncrasies. For example, the door to the room we refurbished doesn't belong with the rest of the house. Our theory is that the builders were one door short and so used a door from another building project, or perhaps from an older home that was being torn down. This door has only four panels while the rest of our doors have five, and there is a plate beneath the doorknob that the other doors do not have. The hinges and the doorplate had been painted over so many times that I took them off and applied paint thinner to remove multiple layers of color. As I scraped away at the doorplate, this is what emerged:
The way I carried on you'd have thought I'd won the lottery. It was such an amazing feeling to see that beautiful pattern emerging from beneath the layers of sticky old paint.
I'm sure you can see it coming. I'm about to draw an analogy here! But that's the way the Lord speaks to me, so go with me on this...
I can't see beauty in my Mom's Alzheimer's disease. The disease itself is like those layers of sticky paint that hid the pattern beneath. Alzheimer's is a travesty, an invader; a robber and a thief. It takes so much from an individual and from a family. It robs not only the memories of the patient, but also the memories of those who care for her. It is hard now for me to remember who my mother was before Alzheimer's. However, I have it on good authority that when my mother goes home to be with the Lord, that the effects of the disease will fade away much as those layers of paint dissolved. And beneath will be not only my memories of the mother I once knew, but also the beauty of the pattern of God's perfect plan. I can't see it now. Someday I will. Meantime I have faith that God has a plan, and that it is a good plan.
Scripture: "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).