In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."
~ Isaiah 25:9
"I seem to spend more time living and remembering the past than thinking about today," a dear friend of mine shared who is caring for his wife who has alzheimers.
He continued, "I try to bring up things from the past because I've learned that this is where I can find Anne's spirit. Especially if I sing an old hymn or talk about a particular summer day when we first met."
He stopped and looked up to heaven as if trying to get a glimpse of what to ask next of God. "At least she's not in any pain, and I continue to live each day with at least some part of her with me."
Often these days I simply will ask him, "Did you see Anne's spirit today?"
He knows what I am asking, and lately the answer has simply been, "No, but I'm hoping that we have one more good day, because I know that God is still real and present, even if she seems to be somewhere else."
Our memories are something that contain both good and bad accountings of our days. For my friend, it is his memories that keeps his wife alive, even though she is actually present, but gone.
Additionally, he continues to remind himself that even though he can't seem to find his wife's spirit present, he holds on to hope.
Sometimes I will admit that I struggle to understand God being present when we seem to struggle. Knowing that God cannot pick or choose whether to be present because God is in all places at all times, the reality of the imperfect world we live in makes that presence being known even more difficult to find at times.
It is the times that we can point to in our past when we can easily admit that, "God was there," that then makes the times we experience now that seem to be empty of God's presence less difficult.
Being able to proclaim that "God is here," somehow helps to relate that our current struggle is not being encountered alone. God is present.
It is in that knowledge that we can not only look back, while living in the present, and knowing that tomorrow will come as well, even unto eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.