Hello World…Spiritual Depth Percept # 16

I have learned a new depth. One that you reach that feels like you are drowning. You can’t breath, you can’t think and you are so tired you feel like you can’t get out of this one.

Yesterday, my 81-year-old mom told me she was cleaning my adopted daughter’s apartment where she died and she needed my help. My first thought was, ‘Oh, no, not me. Let a professional cleaner go in there and take care of it!” But she insisted that she was going to do it with or without me. I love my Mom like babies love clean warm clothes and warm milk. I decided that I could not let her do this by herself so I finally agreed to go.  Gathering up broom, water, dust pan and large plastic garbage bags I headed out praying, “Lord, I don’t want to do this. Give me strength just to go in that apartment and help me because this is where she died and lay dead for two days before she was found.” 

Upon arrival, I found my Mom already had cleaned and packed one room of the 4 room apartment by herself. She told me she had found the kids clothes and shoes they needed for school and their dad had left the place like this when he had come to get what he wanted out of the place three days prior. His name was not even on the lease so how was he able to do that, I wondered. I could not believe what I was seeing. It looked like a F5 tornado had hit the inside of the apartment and left nothing unturned. The only thing sitting upright was a sofa and TV. The floor was so littered with junk, paper and ‘drawer insides’ that you could not see bare floor anywhere except the kitchen. Why would anyone do this and leave it looking like a hurricane hit it? Obviously this man cared nothing about the woman who had died here in ‘his arms’. All that stuff at the memorial he had mumbled was a lie.

I had never been to this apartment before because she had told  me when she moved here, “I don’t want him to know where I live so I don’t want any of the family to come here. He can’t find me, if he does not know where I am. And he would follow someone here.”  I talked to her on the phone almost every  week or two, carried her places when she would meet me somewhere, wondered why she kept living in this mess. Her answer was, “I love him but I can’t live with him.  He is a bad alcoholic, not the nice kind like my brother was. He hurts people when he is drunk.”  Well, I knew that. I had seen the black and blue marks on her arms and shoulders, back  and neck. He never hit her in the face, she told me he told ‘her she was too pretty to put a blue mark on her face’. And she was pretty, but she also had the same sickness he had. Her real parents were alcoholics from early ages and she had taken her first drink when she was 12 and liked it. My husband and I didn’t drink and didn’t approve of drinking. We didn’t find out until after she got married to this man at 17 that she was drinking. She could down a bottle and not even show the effects of being high.  We had carried her to church from the time she was 4 until she moved out of our home. She had accepted Jesus as her saviour at age 8. The heart had accepted. The mind still lived in this world. When she was sober, she was in church every Sunday, sending me emails telling me how much she loved Jesus and how much He loved her, and one day He was going to deliver her from all this.

After her second baby was born and they had ‘fixed her’ so she could not have any more children at her insistence, we found out why. She didn’t want to bring any more children into this world because they were living in hell with a man who drank every night of his life. Now she was dead and he was in jail leaving two girls, age 20 and 17 with no parents to take care of them. The oldest told me, “Granny, you know I have been taking care of my sister and me all our lives. They been drunk since I was born. When I graduated high school and moved out, it was the best day of my life. Now it is all over with.”   She is so level-headed.

Now, here I was with my mom cleaning a house I had never been in except the day after she died when I came to get clothes for the 17-year-old. That was a day to remember. Found the man-dad on the sofa, drunk with two bottles of vodka sitting on the coffee table in front of him sprawled out half-naked on the sofa where she died. (I don’t think I can do this was my first thought.) He who was the father of my grandchildren was not doing anything  differently even after her death. Lord I can’t breathe, help me. I wanted lightening to come from heaven and strike him where he lay. Oh, that was a wrong thought. Maybe the sofa would swallow him alive to death. Still another wrong thought. and then I heard it. Not from me, but from heavens door:  You must forgive him and pray for him…vengence is mine.

Lord I obey. I forgive him, help me, help me forgive him completely.

My Mom insisted I get hold of myself and help her so we could get out of that place before dark. The electricity had been turned off and only the water was working. I prayed, “Lord, help me’.  I opened the box of large trash bags and got my rubber gloves and began picking up and dividing it into piles: clothes in one, shoes in another, bed clothing in another, towels/wash clothes in another and trash in another. Before long we had a system going that worked for both of us.

It was hot: I opened all the windows because the wind was blowing a cool breeze outside. The Lord was providing air conditioning for us. Soon we could feel the breeze blowing through the open windows. At lunch time I sent Mom home to get herself something to eat, drink and rest. I would do the kitchen by myself.  An hour later she came back with a tomato sandwich and piece of cake for me. She handed me a bottle of water and told me to sit down and eat. I was right ready to do that. I washed my hands and told her, “Thanks mom, but you didn’t have to bring me anything. I have water in the car and some yogurt I could have eaten.”  Her reply was, “NO. You need to sit down and rest a while now, so we can finish this today.” I did and in 15 minutes we were back at work. My sister showed up at 2:30 with her truck and I packed the back of her truck with everything I could to take to Goodwill. The rest we left for a big truck to pick up and take. On the way home to take a shower I prayed.

Lord, this is the day you have made. I know you are in control. I am so tired I feel like laying down and not getting up for a month. Give me strength to get my shower and eat something before I hit the bed. He did and I fell into bed at 8:OO p.m. more than ready to sleep.

This mornings devotional  was Psalms 1:6.    AND  His word to me was:  From the beginning, I have loved you as my own. I have chosen you for a special purpose, provided for your needs, and comforted you  in difficult times. I delight to do all this . It is my joy to reveal the plans I have for you , to walk by your side, to see you through every challenge. In fact, I love you so much that when I created you, I set within you the freedom of choice: to choose my path or other paths. I also offered you the wisdom to choose wisely.  I will not force you to take my path, but,  oh my child, how I yearn for your love and trust. Won’t you choose to take my hand and walk with me today?

He is my God, in Him I live and breathe,  and each day I do choose to live in obedience to the One who gave His Son that I could choose to have and live in eternal life today and forever.


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