I have written a few times about how I have been helping one of Marti’s co-workers with Women of Vision deal with services needed for her invalid husband. She has been her husband’s 24/7 caregiver since he fell last summer and a subsequent operation rendered him bedridden.
Marie is an amazing woman. Optimistic. Hard-working. Willing to put up with the most humiliating of tasks in caring for her husband without complaint. And bull-headed.
Well, one morning last week, the caregiver went down. She was walking her dog, a rather energetic large puppy, who took a leap and yanked her toward the street causing her to trip over a curb and take a tumble that ended in a broken pelvis. Now there are two down and suddenly 24/7 care is required for two people and I stepped in to be that person until she could find someone on a more permanent basis.
So here I am helping Marie in and out of a wheelchair (she cannot be on her feet) and wheeling her around while she instructs me on what to do for her husband, which alone is a full-time job. I told her not to worry about her caregiving job; I would be her hands and feet. Just tell me what to do. Suddenly I have a new take on what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Marie and my wife, in some areas, are cut from the same mold. Neither is very patient. And did I mention she was bull-headed? Marie’s five-hour wait at the hospital for an X-ray, the result of which was already a forgone conclusion, was unacceptable. She was ready to have me wheel her out of there in her hospital gown with no official discharge, and I would have, had not the doctor finally shown up to diagnose the problem which turned out to be exactly as she had already suspected — a fractured pelvis. “Nothing you can do but take these painkillers and stay off your feet for 6 – 8 weeks.” Thank you very much.
That was last Wednesday. I had just gotten the Catch out when I got the call. So I turned out to be the new caregiving resident at Arnold and Marie’s house until their son came to take over late Friday night. All along I’ve been thinking, I will work in a Catch edgewise and let everyone know what’s been going on. Well, I never found that edge. It was 24/7 care in the truest sense. I can hardly remember putting my head down on a pillow. Plus, whenever I got a chance to rest, I was icing a bad knee that decided to flare up at the same time I needed it the most.
It’s impossible to capture all that went on during those 60 hours I was on duty, except to grab a little of the humor. Did I mention Marie was bull-headed? Well not only that, she, like Marti, expects you to read her mind and know what she wants without her saying it. (Thank goodness I was used to this.) I was often chided for not knowing what I couldn’t have known, and to her credit, she almost always apologized for her impatience later when she realized that. It became a sort of standing joke. As did our initial attempts to deal with modesty which we soon realized had to be done away with in order to get the job done. There were some situations where laughter was simply the best medicine.
But by far, the best medicine of all was hearing these words out of the mouth of Marie’s husband, Arnold, as I was getting ready to leave Friday night: “Will you pray for me and Marie?” This, from a man who has been an atheist for most of his eighty-plus years, whom Marie warned me about trying to preach to because it would only make him mad. So I prayed. I have no idea what I said, but the Holy Spirit did. It was His moment. Now we have the joy of finding out where this is going to go. Pray for Arnold. He cracked the door open, and as far as I know, he left it that way.
For more on this last week, check out our church service yesterday. It was recorded live last night with lots of people commenting. If you haven’t been to our church yet, you really should check this out. Go to www.facebook.com/thecatch and click on the word “POSTS” under my profile picture.