Yesterday during my regular evening walks, I happened to find the watchman of the next complex asleep on his chair. I felt it little hilarious and passed by. During my next round, I found a man, shouting at him and complaining that he would inform about this to the committee. This man was a young boy, just in his late 20’s. I felt very bad and I was actually getting angry upon him – ‘how could he speak so disrespectfully with the watchman. He could have just warned and left, pointing fingers at him and shouting at him that too in public was something that really disturbed me.’
With these thoughts in my mind I began taking my third round and immediately the Holy Spirit began speaking to me.
He asked me to consider the conversations that I had at home with Aunty and Uncle. He convicted me on the number of times I could have been more gentle in my speech, more considerate about their needs, more loving in my attitude, and more selfless in my deeds. I was put to shame thoroughly. I repented and asked forgiveness to have compared myself with a ‘man’ rather than ‘Christ Himself’.
Comparing yourself with a man will only make you proud, yet comparing yourself with Christ will produce humility in you. ( Paraphrase Bro. Zac)
Yes, I believe we should start considering our attitude towards the aged people we live with at home. You might not see the difference now, yet trust me… within 5-6 years from now you will begin to notice how things change at home when your parent’s age. You need to get ready for that, be considerate and more loving. Trying to be practical or intelligent wouldn’t benefit at all. Love is the greatest and that alone would survive. I am seeing the difference now. It wasn’t so some 4-5 years ago…age is picking up on Uncle and Aunty and I need to begin to consider that.
‘You shall rise up before the gray headed and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:32
Why do I say this….many things change with that. You might not see it now, yet you would definitely later on!
Dependence : With growing old, comes their dependence on you for almost everything especially decision making. I couldn’t understand this at first. Only After I had a short discussion with Amreetha, my friend that I realized it. She has grandparents at home and she could relate things well. As parents grow old, they are no longer confident about the things they do, they want you to certify it, it helps them. So do not get frustrated when they call you and ask your opinion. I have failed in this a number of times, telling them to decide as my opinion did not matter. They would want you to write down the numbers, also check up something as even their eyesight gets dimmer with growing age.
Tidiness : I think you will have to begin to give much allowance for this. I personally prefer keeping everything into the shelf and get things out, as and when I need them. Yet, I find Aunty and Uncle struggle to stand on their heels or bend down and get it out. I have seen them struggling to pick up even a single pen from the floor. Please help them without humiliating them. Come on friends, these are small things yet we need to help them and keep all things at their hand’s reach.
Forgetfulness: Don’t expect them to remember everything. They cannot and you need to help them. I sometimes repeat the phrase. Even while writing all of these I am writing to myself, reminding myself my follies and how I need to change by the help of God.
Earlier Uncle was a ‘perfect guide’ if we had to go to any place. Recently, I have discovered that he is not capable of doing it as he used to earlier. I do not tell him to his face, that would be wrong, yet even before we start, I ask him the address and then calculate the route myself ( with His grace). Uncle has been quite surprised how I calculate the routes perfectly even before the commencement of the journey.
There are lots more…yet the point being, you need to give allowance. There is something I need to share, and I do feel ashamed of myself yet God beautifully has liberated me and opened my eyes. See, He is so Faithful and would not allow you to remain on the floor, He will stretch forth His helping hand and lift you up. This incident I am sharing so that, each one of us, would begin to consider all that our parents had done for us.
After returning from our trip, Uncle and I decided to give our phones for service. The service center for both phones happened to be on the same street. At home, I had planned to give it that day, yet Uncle wanted to accompany me and do his too. I was hesitant at home knowing that it would take much time waiting at the service centre and as is my nature, I do not like others waiting for me or for any of my cause. So we arrived at that place and we parked the car at a place which wasn’t a very proper area to park cars. One of us had to remain in ..! So I went to my service centre, they provided me a coupon number for my turn and I came down and asked Uncle to go to his, meanwhile I would wait in the car. He must have been tired..he would have to walk a distance to get to his service centre..so he asked me to take his phone and asked me to give mine to his ..in case I had any doubt, thereby he decided to remain in the car. So I took his and left. Half way through..I realized that I did not take the address with me and so I called up Uncle. Then I realized ..he wouldn’t be able to operate my phone so I walked back to the car and saw he was still struggling to answer my call, I felt little irritated and spoke a word as this. ‘I should have come alone and finished everything on my own….” It’s getting complicated….!
As soon as words as such left my mouth, I received a very strong rebuke from the Holy Spirit. He made me to recall the number of years Uncle had waited for me morning and evening to drop me to school. He would come and drop me, wait and pick me up daily. During my 12 STD he would wait 1-2 hours for my extra classes to get over. He would drop and pick me up all through my first year of College – why all this trouble…? He wanted me to go and come back safely. He had known I was new to Chennai and might get into some problem taking a bus. Uncle had spent numerous days for me – time and money both and here I was selfish to the core not willing to be patient to even teach him how to operate my phone.
Oh my heart was broken. With almost tears in my eyes ( as I was on the main road) I told him ‘ Uncle, am so sorry for being rude’. He smiled back as he always does.
Truly all my failures, make me realize it would be utter foolishness to ever judge a person for their faults when I am soaking in it. If not for God’s grace who gives me the light I would be soaking in my sins – from head to toe. Uncle – drops his pen from his hands – it passes his feet, rolls down the cot and I need to bend down push myself under the cot and get it back to him….!! Yes, that is how it has to be even for you….!!! Learn how to bend for your parents as the Indian culture itself teaches.. 😉 You needn’t touch their feet and worship them as God. You need to humble yourself and remind yourself of all that they had done for you when they were strong….!!
Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21. I think this verse is clear enough to show us, that we submit to one another as sisters and brothers in Christ, not for our sakes yet out of reverence for Jesus Christ. So, you may calculate the degree to which you do obey this Word of God.
When you go for shopping buy something to treat them. Uncle likes Borbon biscuits and I make sure to buy, most of the time. Aunty will eat anything …not choosy like me 😉 Be willing to eat what your mom prepares. Who is telling this ? Are you thinking so ? I do not like gothumai dosa ( atta ka dosa) and when I realize Aunty has prepared that for breakfast, my hunger almost dissapears. Yet just for her sake I gulp it down quietly. She has no clue that I do not like it. And the list can go on…..
Offer your help when they are going out. No one likes to travel alone except for people like me 😉 Recently, Aunty had to go for a checkup. She never likes me to accompany her as I could catch some flu from the patients sitting in the waiting room. Yet, I persisted…. !! I have a technique of getting things done …trust me !! and so we reached the hospital. We entered the room. The doctor did all he had to – Aunty was having a very high blood pressure. And to my surprise Aunty was keen to have me speak to the doctor rather than she doing it. She was glad and I realized that. You don’t know my Aunt… an Ex director at a well-known organization. She was sitting like a 5 year old baby there. The doctor gave me Yes…..me…… all the instructions…..and then he prescribed the tablets ( Are you wondering where was Uncle all this while.. obviously at home… Aunty and I, choose to leave him at home rather than have him with us and delay us still further;)
I told the doctor – ‘my mother cannot take strong doses, could you give us a mild one…” I could see a twinkle of joy in Aunty’s eyes. And that night Aunty even called up her elder sister and repeated what I had told.
Oh words matter a lot. Finally rules will not help. Be considerate, give allowance and realize that things might not be the same never try to justify yourself – to try to make your point. They wouldn’t listen. Love them, pray for them, find a quiet time and then try. It’s a different journey yet remember God will give you the grace.
Also remember for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
( Galatians 6:7 ) Amen!