Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Slippers on Worn Feet

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27a

She sits lonely in her wheelchair by the window--broken leg propped up, whole leg dangling down--the one who shares her birthday with my granddaughter.

Lungs inhale the lifeless scent of age, deep. Lips force a smile for the sake of one whose robust life once brimmed over full of joy. Her eyes meet familiar faces and she brightens--invites us to sit down and share life.

Life? Life when death is so close? How do you share life with one who's nearly done?

She rambles on cheerfully about doctor reports, kind nurses, and thirty-year-old (sometimes older) memories. I listen and place clean clothes in drawers--throw out the worn stockings, shoes, and slippers.

"How about some new slippers?" I interrupt.

"Oh yeah!" She exclaims. "That would be nice."

Like Cinderella, she places her worn foot of her whole leg in the palm of my hand and I gently replace the old with the new and do the same on her broken leg. And I can't help but wonder how many miles those worn feet have walked--how much life she's lived. And I think, her days are short.

She speaks more of death, now--still grieves her husband, fourteen years passed--feeling robbed, yet yearning for heaven herself.

Share life? She has shared life with me as long as I've lived--extending arms of support at birthdays, holidays, picnics, vacations, babysat my children every week for free. The least I can do is share her last days, however long, by lavishing her with simple pleasures--like new slippers on worn feet.

"The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help." 1 Timothy 5:5

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