by Freida Harrison
“I’ve learned…That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.”
My mother has a “sweet tooth”. Quite frankly, she likes almost anything sweet…the extra gooey, knock the dentures right out of your mouth kind of sweet! We enjoy teasing her about it and even take her more sugary foods than she probably needs, but my son has found a simple, yet loving way to turn this tidbit of information into precious memories. When he plans a visit with her, he goes to the store and purchases a chocolate candy bar, along with a Dr. Pepper and takes them to her. Even though he’s in the medical profession and knows that a high level of sugar could possibly cause health problems, I’m pleased that he completely understands about relationships and sweet memories…the savory spices of life.
While Mom eats the candy bar and sips on the Dr. Pepper, grandmother and grandson visit about all kinds of important topics: how she’s doing; how she’s feeling; his wife and children (he shows her pictures); his work; hunting; the farm; the weather; her memories from days gone by…just wherever the conversation leads that day. He sits by her side and listens. He asks if there is anything he can do for her, such as change a lightbulb, open a jar, or move something heavy…anything that would be physically difficult for her to do at this stage of life. Then he happily does whatever she needs. Priceless memories…for both of them.
When I talk to Mom on the phone later, she tells me excitedly about a handsome young man visiting with her and makes me guess who had been to see her. This is not a difficult task since I can tell by her tone of voice! She relives the visit by telling me how he looked, what they talked about, what a great young man her grandson is, what he did to help her that she hadn’t been able to do physically, and every detail that she can remember of her time with him. Not once does she mention the candy bar or the Dr. Pepper…at least not unless I ask. As much as she likes sweets, it’s the visit that’s the priceless bond; the time spent with her grandson. His love and attention make her feel loved, treasured, important…and still needed.
In return, what does my son receive? He receives the joy of giving, of being in fellowship and sweet relationship with his grandmother, and best of all, her blessing of love. I’ve never been present at one of their visitations; however, I’ve heard from each of them about their times spent together, and there is no way to say who receives the greater joy.
Everyone longs for love and attention just as my mother and son desire and enjoy their special relationship. We need relationship with our family and friends, but we yearn for it from our Heavenly Father. Thankfully, God calls us to go to Him.
In James 4:8, we read:
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
In Jeremiah 29:12-13, the LORD said:
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
God tells us to seek relationship with Him. He understands our need to feel loved and fulfilled in a way that only He can satisfy. He wants us to cling to Him, pray to Him, and to give us the peace, love, and rest that is essential for our spiritual well-being. Only He can completely fulfill our desire to be loved, treasured, and appreciated. Spend time with our Heavenly Father daily, and reflect on those priceless moments that are built over a lifetime of relationship with Him. He will sit with you and listen.
Copyright © 2012, Freida Harrison, All Rights Reserved. Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NIV (1984)