She has lovingly taken care of her husband since his dementia diagnosis in 2005. Now he lies in a hospital bed at home in their beautifully decorated sun room with full-blown Alzheimer’s. Demonstrating her marriage vows, she wipes his face, pats his head, speaks to him in terms of endearment, cleans up his bed, combs his hair, and listens for any signs of life.
Her home is beautifully attired with all the dressings for Christmas, but one stands out among all others. Next to her beloved husband’s bed, she has prepared a second tree, “just for him, although he doesn’t even know it’s there.”
“His biological clock has not stopped working. He wakes up nearly every morning at 5:00 a.m.” She sleeps in the bedroom next to the sunroom so she can respond to his needs through the night. “He will cough, but it’s not a real cough. I think it’s just a ‘Hey, I’m awake cough,’ and I get up to go check on him.”
Sunday evening, my wife, another couple, and I stopped to sing Christmas carols to them. She had the bar counter prepared with Christmas goodies and fourteen cups set out waiting to be filled with warm apple cider or hot chocolate. In the midst of her trial, she had gone to great lengths to prepare for company. I was saddened that she expected a “small crowd,” and it was only a very small crowd of four.
While visiting around the counter and enjoying the tasty treats, this dear lady said something that arrested my attention. “Last week, I invited some of my friends here for a meal. We had a house full. These are folks from up on the mountain where I’m from. I am concerned about one lady in particular. I’m not sure she is saved.”
Wow! I mean, wow! Here’s a lady whose life is consumed with the care of her husband, and she intentionally prepared a large meal, invited guests to her home, and all for the purpose of sharing the gospel. In the midst of caring for her born-again husband suffering from the awfulness of the sin-curse and will one day know no more pain or memory loss, she reaches out in compassion to those who will suffer for an eternity in hell, if they do not receive Christ as their personal Savior (John 1:12; 3:16-17).
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
And of some have compassion, making a difference (Jude 22).