Oh, No, I Can’t Stand It

Concerned man looking out the window

Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.—PROVERBS 4:5 [NRSV]

My younger brother’s growing dementia was a shock when he came to spend a week with us. “He needs a lot of activity,” his lady friend told us. So we wore ourselves out with drives around town and coffeehouse visits. He could no longer watch television or engage in normal conversation, but he loved the cat, other people, short piano improvisations and eating. Maybe nonstop food would make him sleepy. My husband, Lee, and I breathed a sigh of relief when he finally closed the door and went into the guest room.

He was quiet except for a few small noises. Then he opened the door with a big smile on his face. “I rearranged some things,” he told us. Our many expensive art masterpieces were lined up facing three walls. We were too tired to deal with it. The next day we heard more noise when he told us he was going to rest. We sat and prayed for guidance.

Soon the door opened, and he said, “Well, I did it. I fixed everything.” He had moved all the furniture in the room: heavy bookshelves filled with books, antique dresser, queen-size bed, and two chairs! Some of the artwork was now rehung to his liking. And guess what? The skills he’d developed as a builder were still intact—the room was much improved.

Today's Prayer:

Dear God, help me seek understanding when I think I can’t tolerate something.

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