Look for the Little Things

Woman praying in church

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances . . .—I THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 [NIV]

“Look for the little things,” a friend told me. “And be thankful.”

How can I be thankful when I see my wife slipping away? I asked myself more times than I care to admit. I gave lip service to being grateful, but I didn’t feel it. God and I had issues.

Martha was only 50 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Three years later, her capabilities were definitely diminished. Walking and caring for herself was difficult. Her speech was erratic. And I had trouble perceiving what she understood.

Around that time, our friend Rev. Lacy Harwell invited Martha to lunch. I wonder how that will go, I thought. Afterward, they went to the church where Lacy had been the minister. They slipped into the back of the sanctuary, standing in silence. Lacy sighed. He told us he was distressed by problems that had arisen there since his retirement.

Martha looked into his eyes. Then she took his hand and said, “It’s hard, isn’t it?”

I was stunned to hear this. It had been so long since Martha displayed such empathy, the ability to process the emotion of the moment. To my surprise, all I could say was, “Thank you, my Lord. Thank you for this ray of insight.”

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, dear God, for opening my eyes to the little graces that can arise during such tragedy.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts