You’re Not My Boss!

Daughter helping mother walk with a cane

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.—Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

After Mom had a hip replacement, she needed me to help her with her physiotherapy in her apartment. Every morning, it was a struggle to get her to do the necessary movements. We both dreaded the painful ordeal! I would move her leg to a 45-degree angle, then urge her to try it herself. “C’mon, Mom, lift that leg!” Every day, I was getting more frustrated and impatient as she became more stubborn and uncooperative.

“You’re not my boss!” she said. “I’m tired of this! And who even knows what a leg angle is!”

I whispered a quick prayer. “Lord, I can’t do this every day for who knows how long.”

I walked to the window and looked down into the park across the street. Little children huddled around a person who appeared to be their coach. I watched as they eagerly ran to where he pointed.

I turned to face the bed. “Mom,” I said in a gentler voice, “I’m not your boss. I’m just your coach. Look, here is the bed.” I held out one hand with palm up. “This is your leg.” With my other palm I made a 45-degree angle.

Now Mom understood. She gave it her best effort. “You did it by yourself, Mom!” I praised each effort until she got tired. She was smiling now. “Okay, coach,” she said. “Now can I have breakfast?”

It was slow, but it was a start.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for showing me how much more can be accomplished if I remember to use love and patience.

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