By Patrick Hawthorne
My Father-in-Law, whom everyone calls PawPaw, has been in a rehabilitation center for a couple of months due to back issues. One particular Sunday afternoon, when my wife Kathy (Kat) and I went for a visit, we loaded PawPaw into his wheel chair and rolled him around the facility for a “walk about,” as the Australians like to say.
Just meddling around, we passed a couple of elderly folk, a man and a woman, as they struggled to roll their wheel chairs up a small incline that connected two hallways. Leaving Kat to roll her dad, I went and helped the two. After I knew they were safe, I rejoined Kat and PawPaw. Passing more elderly guests we said our, “hellos,” and continued our stroll.
Shortly into our walk, we passed a small recreation area where a sole elderly lady sat in her wheelchair feverishly working a huge jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle must have had over a thousand pieces. Although her hands were shaky and her body twisted, she was giving that puzzle everything she had.
This time Kat left her dad in my hands, which can be very dangerous, and started talking with the little lady. A stroke must have overtaken her because her speech was barely audible and she had deficits to one side. That mattered little to Kat as she talked to the lady as if they were best of friends. More than once, Kat stooped down to pick up a puzzle piece that was knocked to the floor because of a muscle twitch from her new friend.
Later, after rolling PawPaw outside for some fresh air, Kat positioned her dad between two comfy looking rocking chairs. We each sat, not saying a word. Occasionally a guest would arrive, arms laden with treats for their loved ones. Without a word, I got up and opened the door for them.
After one such trip, PawPaw looked at me and then to Kat. “You two amaze me.”
“Why’s that,” I asked?
“Because, both of you help everyone you see and are so polite.”
“Well, PawPaw,” I nonchalantly replied back. “We can talk all day long about Jesus, but it don’t mean one hill of beans if we don’t let them see Jesus.”
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)