Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes it takes a baby

He squealed in that silly baby way.
She laughed, showing deep lines from 80 years of laughing.
He reached.
She wanted to hold but knew her feeble arms would fail.

He let out a shriek because he likes to hear his own voice.
She said he was just like his grandpa used to be, "Always the life of the party. Always wanted a laugh."
Then she suddenly looked down, trying to collect her thoughts, get her barrings... remember. Was this her grandson?

She walked us around her 'home' (she in a wheel chair and us walking beside),  introducing the baby to friends as her grandson, but if they asked questions she was taken aback. She concentrated, trying hard to bring all the years back into focus.

I don't think anyone ever knew the truth-- that we had just met down the hall a few minutes earlier.

But she was having the time of her life believing we'd come just to see her. Believing she was that special.

That morning I'd prayed what I try to make a daily prayer- one asking God to use us, lead us, show us someone in need.

He lead us to this 'home'. This place where people who have lived full lives now wait. And play games. And roll through halls somewhat aimlessly. And occasionally receive a visitor.

Quite honestly, it was the last place I wanted to go. But I knew that He knew better, so we went.

I had internally painted a really awkward picture of what would ensue once we got there. (I'm often so faithless.)

But He had beautiful pictures painted instead.

The simple act of bringing a baby into such a place is remarkable. 
Smiles cross confused and frustrated faces.

People who have trouble remembering the day of the week can look at a baby, know it's a baby, remember that they love babies, laugh with delight, and are for a moment healed.

He sent that woman a baby that day to show her love.

And I'm overwhelmed by His grace in sending a Baby, His Son, to show love to this world like we've never known. It's real. It's life-changing. And it heals.

Another idea for the Christmas Season: Visit a Nursing Home.
No need for an agenda.
Just show up, smile, and be ready to listen.
Don't have a baby? No problem. They will still be overjoyed to see you.