Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.—MATTHEW 19:19 (NIV)
"Mike, I think it’s time to see if your parents want to move to Columbus,” I said to my husband. He rolled his eyes.
“Go ahead and ask, but it won’t happen. They’re established in Indianapolis. Mom has lots of friends there. Small town living won’t suit them.”
My father-in-law, Jack—once a hard-charging business executive—was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Whenever I phoned my mother-in-law, Carmen, I sensed anxiety. She rarely complained, but it was clear the challenges were mounting.
Their annual fishing trip to Canada had been a nightmare. Instead of a relaxing vacation, it had been a nightmare. One evening, my very conservative father-in-law wandered out of their cabin, totally undressed. On the return trip to Indiana, he insisted on driving, but instead of his usual steady-as-she-goes style, he drove recklessly, almost causing a bad crash.
Carmen called after she’d received the letter asking if they would consider moving to Columbus. “We’ll take you and Mike up on the offer. I can’t do this by myself anymore.”
Even so, my husband had misgivings. When Mike was growing up, Jack’s career had always taken precedence over
family. Even today, their relationship was distant. But we agreed; it was time to let go of past hurts. We needed to meet his dad where he was now. It was time to show compassion, not resentment. We’d make it work.
Father God, when we face stumbling blocks in relationships, remind us we are called on to love one another.