Today's daily devotion

Compassion for the Past

But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.—PHILIPPIANS 3:13 (RSV)

When I was growing up, my mother alternated times of encouragement with outbursts of anger. I tried to remember that her life had not been easy. Her husband died at a young age, leaving her with a farm where work never ended and finances were often unstable.

But as my mother’s advancing age required me to care for her first in her home and then part-time when she moved into a care center, I often found the past burdening the present. Her angry outbursts still hurt. That extra emotional burden sometimes kept me from caring for her lovingly.

One day while I was visiting her at the care center, she said out of the blue, “When Roy died, I lost all my faith. It was like a fragile cord from heaven to earth had been cut.”

I saw the depth of her despair. That gave me an extra dose of compassion for my mother’s lifelong burdens. It was with a fuller heart that I was able to stroke her cheek and say, “I love you.”

Remembering my mother’s journey through the years and appreciating how much life had asked of her helped me to let go of my own grievances, and to love and care for her fully.

Lord, help me to let go of hurtful moments from the past and live fully in the present with my loved ones.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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