I wasn't going to blog this week. It's been crazy here trying to juggle school with the girls and my regular responsibilities. But something on the news caught my attention last night and I can't let it go. It's been weighing on my mind. I normally don't like to get too involved in what I see on the news or comment on my blog about a public figure, but this time it hit too close to home and there is something that needs to be said about it. So here it goes... watch out Pat Robertson!
On his television show yesterday Pat Robertson said it was okay for a spouse to leave their wife/husband if they have alzheimer's disease because having alzheimer's is like you're already dead any way. The person is not the same person they once were with the disease , it's a long death. ( I am summarizing what Pat said. ) But what happened to the marriage vows? For better and for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part? Do we throw someone away because they are not mentally the same as they were when we married them? Are they any less valuable as a human being? Does God love them any less?
My grandmother had alhzeimer's disease. Sure there were moments when she didn't remember much, she may not even remember my grandfather's name, but you could tell by the way she lit up that she knew who he was! She recognized every family member even if she couldn't get their name straight. She was still able to enjoy her great grand children. She still brought us smiles and laughter just as much as her disease brought us tears. More importantly the disease never stole the memory of her Savior. She still sang hymns, she still loved her God, she still remembered Him. Yes, the disease steals a lot of memory and every day ability to function, but the person is still there inside that body. I am convinced there are certain things that even disease can't take.
Pat is right, alzheimer's is a long and drawn out death. That is all the more reason to love and care for your loved one who has it. They need you. The mind may be gone, but the feelings are still there and they still need to feel loved and not alone. My grandmother's last words to me were, "I love you, I love you, I love you!" Three times she said it. I cherish that because she didn't say it in response to me, she said it from her heart because she wanted to. She hadn't said it much at all the previous years during her disease. But I believe she knew this was our last visit and I needed to hear it. If I had dismissed her because she had the disease I would have missed that. We miss so much when we throw people away.
I bring all of this up because we live in a world that treats people like they are disposable and replaceable. If someone gets on our nerves because they are too bossy or talk too much we stop answering our phone for them. If a person doesn't look like us or act like us we don't hang out with them because they don't fit the mold. If we can't understand their English because of their thick accent we stop taking the time to listen and tune them out. Some of us are prejudice and only hang out with our own skin color. If someone is not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, or doesn't dress in the latest trends we dismiss them. And now there are people who even want to get rid of someone because they have a disease. But this is not God's way.
God loves us and accepts us no matter what we look like, what we have, or what nationality we are. He loves us when we are in our right mind and He loves us when we are a few fries short of a happy meal! He loves us when we are pleasant to be around or when we are bossy and annoying. He never looks at us as replaceable or disposable. We need to follow His example.
Each one of us can probably remember a time when we felt like we were being treated as replaceable or disposable, when we felt like we could never be enough. Please join me this week in loving others the way God loves them. Let's see others as valuable simply because God made them, and love them for the unique treasure and creation they are. Let's follow God's example and not the world's. Remember you are loved and irreplaceable.