Today's daily devotion

Still Learning

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases.—PSALM 103:2-3 (NRSV)

Late every autumn my wife, Candy, can’t bear to discard the decorative pumpkins, but cooks them for year-round
baking. After Thanksgiving last year, I had peeled and cubed our pumpkins and was sitting in the living room while she stirred the pot. I heard a clatter and Candy’s scream. I ran to the kitchen to find that she had tried to lift the pot rather than ask for help and spilled boiling puree down her front. I got her into a cold shower and phoned our doctor. Several weekly appointments with a wound care specialist nurse practitioner followed. Daily I cleaned and debrided, medicated and rebandaged the wounds.

I am still learning that with her Alzheimer’s I must be present for critical safety moments and not casually depend on her to ask for help. I am learning to be increasingly vigilant and how to intervene without belittling her efforts. She needs my support to empower her to live safely without fear. She does not need me to confine and stifle her into an ever-constricting response to her disease.

Still, I feel some regret—she suffered a painful wound because I wasn’t alert enough. I don’t think of tending her burn as a penance for my neglect exactly, but it did prompt me to be more empathetically attentive to her experience.

God of mercy, keep us alert to learning how to best serve our loved ones.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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