Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Living For Jesus

I went to visit my dad at the hospital today. He went in Sunday night with pneumonia. I didn't sleep very well last night. I was a little worried about him.

He wasn't on oxygen today; his bed was set low toward the floor. At first, I don't think he knew who I was. He commented about my glasses (thought they were nice) and said the problem with having two daughters was....

I couldn't find the nurse, so I didn't know how he was coming along. I saw a note that he might be going back to the nursing home today, but no one seemed to know if that was the case or not. He crooned a little of the song that drove me crazy when I was a kid, "Smile for me, my Diane." I hated it when he would sing that song for me.

We said the Lord's prayer together, and because he was having some trouble following the conversation (and this made him upset), I decided to start singing "Living For Jesus," the old gospel song.

He knew all the words.

Apparently, he knows this song better than he knows "What a Friend we have in Jesus."

After awhile he thought he had to get up. I had to persuade him that this was not a good idea. He kept talking about trying to get to "the other side". Maybe singing "Living for Jesus" made him think that he needed to get to it -- living for Jesus, being a disciple.

"Living for Jesus a life that is true/striving to please him in all that I do"

I've been thinking a lot about that: living for Jesus. It's Lent after all, and time to meditate on what we are living for, time to turn around and see if our values and our actions and our words match, or not.

Singing the song with my dad, I thought about living for Jesus. Being a disciple for my dad meant caring about his work, his family, going to church and singing the hymns (and the baritone part on the three-fold amen). It meant being kind, and firm, and trying to teach his children what was important. I think a lot of his faith had to do with music.

"Living for Jesus a life that is true", you spend your whole life singing. Then one day your daughter tells you you can't get up any more; you have to stay in bed because your legs are too weak. And the nurse has to bring you water and you drink from a straw because you might spill. And you wonder what your life has been.

And if you are fortunate, you might realize that you have been carried your whole life, carried and fed and given water when you were thirsty. You might realize that every day you lived for Jesus, every ordinary and heroic thing you ever did was really a gift, that the power to live is the power of the Holy Spirit, deep inside.

Living for Jesus a life that is true...


Jan said...

(((Diane))) You beautifully shared so I was transported there with you. This reminded me of being with my dad for the short period after his stroke in 2002 before he died. It was so difficult for him not to be able to get up, to feed himself, or to talk clearly.

Elaine Dent said...

Tenderly said. Thank you for helping us sing the hymn through your Dad's perspective.

Drew Gasaway said...

Great article!
I thought that I would share this site for a brand new ministry that is using the internet to reach and help people

Note: In the helpful links section there is a ton of free stuff! Books, movies, and ect.

Rev SS said...

So true! Thanks for this beautiful reflection. (((D)))

Barbara B. said...