Friday, December 24, 2010

Angels and Demons

Have you ever thought you met an angel on earth?  Here's what I know (which is not much) but that I learned from the bible about angels. The word angel comes from the greek word "aggelos" which means messenger. Angels are not glorified human beings. They were created all together at the same time so there are no baby angels. You don't really ever become an angel when you die. Angels often take on the form of humans. How else could you "entertain angels unaware" Hebrews 13. Sometimes they appear "white and blazing". I think I have a guardian angel by the way. He's more the "white and blazing" type and has come to give me a message several times in my life.

All angels are not good, some are bad and called fallen angels or demons. They worship the devil or they are like devils themselves. Then there were those confusing angels in Genesis 6 that had sex with the daughters of men and God didn't like that one bit so he destroyed everyone but Noah and his family with a flood. People often think these were not angels and that they were aliens. No one really knows.

What do angels do? They praise God, give messages, protect, strengthen and encourage. I've been blessed to meet some angelic like people lately in Mom's little world and some demons too. 

 Mom started getting these cards from a lady that neither of us knew. They weren't just any cards!  They were the most beautiful cards we had ever seen. She makes them herself and they have all these lovely charming and delighful little details that she lovingly creates. Not only were we perplexed by the cards but by the letters that came with them. The short little letters were written as if she were an old friend who knew Mom very well. She writes of her husband, children and grandchildren as if Mom was aquainted with them all. These cards arrived regularly and Mom really started looking forward to getting another card from her curious interesting talented new friend, Rachel.  Rachel wrote of going to the mall, taking a trip, eating in a deli, all kinds of nice things.

As annoying as this is to me, my dear mother doesn't like anything to be added to her space or moved about. Everyday, I go through the same old  monotonous tasks of straitening pictures that have been moved slightly by the cleaning people, putting the socks on the right side of the drawer and the gowns on the left, folding the throw on top of Mom's bed down to the exact size so that it only covers her feet and many other tedious wierisome tasks that Mom finds absolutely necessary in order to be satisfied for me to leave so she can watch Wheel of Fortune.  So...back to Rachel's cards.

Mom has a rule that all cards be thrown away after 1 day. She keeps them for 1 day in her drawer in a certain designated space. This is the rule for all cards and letters except Rachel's cards. Neither of us could throw them away.
Last week I walked in to the dining room to see Mom and she exclaimed "Guess who come to see me today while I was getting my hair done?" "Who did?" I said. "It was Rachel!" Mom was just beaming! Rachel had come to visit and Mom was so thrilled to actually meet her wonderfully creative friend.  Rachel also brought cookies in a beautifully crafted box that Mom can't throw away either.

Rachel is an angel who uses her talents in the sweetest caring giving way to encourage and strengthen the elderly. An exceptional Christian woman.

There's another lady that is not only angelic but a perfect example of a real true friend. When I first noticed her, I assumed she was the sister of the lady she frequently visits. She visits her most every day. As we were talking one day, I learned that she isn't family at all, she's a life long friend. In fact, the precious elderly lady she visits is not easy to visit because she isn't doing well. She shakes terribly and is becoming unaware of who she is, where she is and so on.  This lovely caring loyal and true friend cares for this ailing woman so kindly. She makes sure she has everything she needs and brings her daughter to visit too. This angelic lady is often annoyed because her ailing friend doesn't get many visits from her real family. Only God can judge but...well.. you probably know what I think of them.

Speaking of those people that God will judge, there's those who seldom visit but then throw a fit when they do. They come once or twice a year, act appalled at the care of their elderly family member, scream and complain at everyone and then they are on their way.  They remind me of "seagull"managers at work. They swoop down, poop on everything, squak squak and fly away.  Only God can judge these family visitors as well but you can tell what everyone else thinks of them.

God blesses us with wonderful angelic like people who encourage us as we grow old and are an example of selflessness to all around. The demons are necessary too I guess in some ways to remind us to be more tolerant.  Or maybe so we can appreciate the fact that there really are wonderful people around who do wonderful caring loving gestures everyday without any desire to be noticed at all. This Christmas I thank God for all the unknown unannouced people who give their presents of love and care to those who are sick and old. God bless you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

When I was young, my family would take a long 24 hour car trip to Louisiana on Christmas to visit my Papaw and Mamaw. We would arrive very late in the evening. My grandparents lived in the country. 

It was somewhat intimidating for a little girl from the Ohio suburbs. It was black as night can ever be. No city street lights lit up the Louisiana bayou country roads. The tired little city girl that I was, inquisitively peaking out the car window to find that there were curious creepy eyes from a numerous variety of critters all peaking just as curiously back at me. Just when it was starting to feel more like Halloween, I would see in the distance, the bright, shining, warm ,tiny home of my Mamaw and Papaw. No matter how late we got there, everyone was still up waiting for us. We'd drive up and pile out of our car, my bare feet stepping right out into chicken poop but who cares! We were home for Christmas!
The Wright's, my father's family would all come running out of the house, laughing, loving, hugging and expressing their joy in just how much I had grown. My Mamaw with her cup in her hand would always proclaim with a long slow Louisiana drawl the initials to my father's name, "Jaaaay- Dubb-Aah- Ya" and with tears in her eyes declare, "I cried a cup full a tears worrying and waiting for you to get here."

The little Louisiana shack would be decorated with lights from top to bottom and every area of the kitchen lined with Christmas candy, cakes, pies and yummy sweet southern hospitality. We could feel it, we knew that everyone had been waiting and preparing for weeks for us to come.

My mother also prepared for Christmas in a similar manner and later on as an adult, I would always gain at least 10 pounds in each visit. She made a gooey delicious fruit cake of real cherries and nuts. She labored for weeks in advance over a variety of homemade fudge, rum balls, candy, pies and cakes as well as the most mouth watering turkey and dressing anyone could ever bake. She prepared in anticipation for me and my family to drive down the lane and the same welcome of  warm hugs and love would ring out.

Unfortunately, at the moment Mom doesn't really look forward to Christmas or any other holiday for that matter. All the activity and changes in routine are more upsetting than they are enjoyable. Her stroke causes her to have trouble swallowing the Christmas goodies and knowing my mom as I do, it takes all the fun out of it when she can't give of herself or do any of the cooking. Frankly, she's been going through one of those "no" phases lately when you just can't really ever make her smile. It's been one of those weeks where I wander cheerless from her room, down the hall to the nurses station and state my all too familiar frustrations. "Please have the doctor call me on Monday, her meds need tweaked again. Nothing makes her happy and she's driving me crazy!"

The road is dark for her, there are scary creatures along the way but we know that a wonderful place is being prepared for her. Someday, somewhere else, she will be happy again and filled with joy. Her family and loved ones will all run out to meet her. Yes, there's comfort in that thought.

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3

Happy Holidays! Enjoy them while you have them, young and old!