Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.—EPHESIANS 4:32 (NIV)
“Useless, my kids are useless,” my grandfather would say after we transferred him from rehab to the hospital, even though our family members visited him regularly. He was nasty to the staff and began to refuse food. I broached hospice with his physician, and they soon moved him to one where the staff was kind and attentive, even with his bad moods.
Grandpa was less and less present, mostly sleeping, but sometimes aware. When alert, he was cranky and belligerent. It was difficult to deal with him.
And yet, grace was with us. I encouraged my dad to talk to his father, even though by then, Grandpa was not responsive. “He can hear you anyway,” I told my father. “So anything you want to talk about, he’ll understand, even if he doesn’t reply.”
After speaking his heart to my grandfather, my dad left to get some much-needed food. While he was out, my grandpa died—just the two of us alone in his room.
When Dad returned, I met him in the hallway, and told him. We sat down.
“Thank you,” my dad said to me. “It really meant a lot. I finally had the chance to forgive him for everything.”
Lord, remind us that forgiveness of each other is always possible, just as you grant us forgiveness.