The Table

Highway surrounded by fall trees

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.—1 John 3:18 (ESV)

“Shawn, can you take Dad to the doctor Thursday?” my sister asked through the car speaker. “I can’t leave work.”

I drove down the river road, noticing the fall color change in the valley. Our family was changing, too. “Sure, I can.”

It was easy for me schedule-wise, but stepping in was hard. Dad had been struggling for weeks, and Mom had been going with him to their doctor. She’d confused details, and Dad, a gentle soul who focused on others, minimized his pain. I didn’t want to hurt Mom by taking her place. And I worried Dad would be embarrassed.

When Thursday came, I prayed all the way to their home and then to the doctor’s office.

The nurse called Dad’s name as soon as we checked in. We followed her to an exam room and Dad sat on the table. I took a chair. When the nurse asked questions, I didn’t know how to interject. I didn’t even know where to look.

Then I noticed my father’s legs. They swung back and forth as he sat on that table. Just like my sons’ small legs when they’d sat on tables at the pediatrician’s office. My boys needed me there then. Dad needed me now.

When we love people, we take care of them. This felt backward and reversed, but I love my Dad.

Dad eventually recovered, and there are new changes to navigate.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help us remember that even when the table begins to turn and we don’t want it to, it turns with love.

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