I went to see Auntie Hope at the retirement centre yesterday. She doesn't remember who I am each week (a symptom of the Alzheimers), but she still invites me in and offers me a cup of tea, which she serves in her best china.
This week I brought a package of biscuits, and as we had our tea I listened to her talk about World War II from a South African perspective, growing up in Pretoria, and whether or not she remembered to feed her cat.
When I asked her how she was feeling, she used an Afrikaans word - dwaal - to describe herself. I asked her what that meant and she said, "It means that I can't tell whether I'm up or down. I just don't understand why I'm here. I have four children; why can't I live with them?"
The problem with Auntie Hope is that she doesn't remember that her family brings her home every weekend, that they love her very much, that she has many friends at the retirement centre and that people visit her. Consequently, she is incredibly lonely. Alzheimers is a terrible disease.
And that's when it hit me: I suffer from a "spiritual" version of Alzheimers. I often forget that God is faithful, that He provides, that He is always with me, and focus instead on the present moment. My perspective is skewed and so I do not have a firm grasp on the truth of my reality: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23
Thank you, Auntie Hope, for teaching me another lesson - just by being you.