“What God Showed Me Through An Angry, Old Woman” by Jennifer Slattery
I’m not sure why I went, except to say I felt a tugging. A vague, unwavering desire to go. And so, I obeyed, not knowing what I’d do or why God asked me to. And this is where, at a small, locally ran nursing home, I met a woman who showed me, through her hostile, confused state, the depths of God’s love.
Her name was Betty, and she lived in a local nursing home, one I decided to serve at. I met her right away. It was hard not to notice her. She had the mouth of a railroader and a temper to match. Most of the other residents, and I suspect, many of the staff, were afraid of her. But I was drawn to her. I’m not sure why except that I sensed she was deeply lonely.
So, I began to form a relationship. My family soon joined me, and we’d go one night a week to play cards. Until cards grew too difficult for her. In the middle of a game, she’d get upset and throw her cards down, “This is a stupid game.”
Then she’d look at my husband, who was growing a beard, “You look like a hobo.”
My husband would just smile, his folded hands propped under his chin.
“If God wanted you to have facial hair, He would’ve given it to you.”
We chose not to explain the fallacy of her statement and instead smiled.
This went on for some time, and with each encounter, we grew more attached to this angry, foul-mouthed woman who spent most of her time cursing us.
One day, when I came to visit, she told me her friend had fallen and was in the hospital. This upset her greatly, most likely because it reminded of her vulnerability, and the great unknown that awaited humanities decline of health. Distraught and deeply concerned, she asked me if I’d take her to see this woman who normally resided down the hall.
I readily agreed and got permission from the facility staff. Before they gave me the go-ahead, however, the activities director spent ten minutes telling me how awful this woman was. She was angry, hostile. Why would I choose to have her in my car? But if that’s how I wanted to spend my afternoon, God be with me.
Actually, she never mentioned God, because I’m pretty sure if she gave Him a thought at all, her view of this spunky old woman would change.
Ten minutes later, Betty and I sat buckled in my van, heading toward the local hospital. On the way, Betty swore, told me all of the things she didn’t like about the other cars we passed or the people in the parking lot.
She was mad. Confused. Scared. Angry.
But as we were walking toward the glass doors, her cursing, me smiling, God gave me a beautiful gift.
Speaking ever-so-softly to my heart, He said, “I don’t see her that way.” And then it clicked. When others looked at her, all they saw was her behavior, but when God looked at her, He saw her disease, Alzheimer’s.
That’s the same way He views mankind. When we see others acting angry or unkind, all we can is their behavior. But God looks deeper. He sees their disease—sin, and he offers a cure through His Son Jesus Christ.
For God so loved our broken, sin-ravished world…
This encounter, with the woman and with God, impacted me greatly, so much so that I put in my debut, Beyond I Do.
That day, God showed me how deep, how far-reaching, how unshakable His love really is. By loving this woman through me, God showed me the depths of His love for all mankind. For me. It was a beautiful moment, one I won’t forget.
Isn’t He amazing? What about you? When has your God-given love for someone else revealed God’s heart in a deeper way? When do you feel closest to God? Share your examples with us so we can celebrate God’s faithfulness.
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
About When Dawn Breaks
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
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