It all comes down to Jesus.
When we got home from visiting Elaine’s Mom yesterday, I called my own Mom. It was her voice I was hearing when I thought, “It all comes down to Jesus.”
It’s not easy to go there. To visit the places where they check in but they don’t check out, except through death. It’s easy to put thoughts of mortality on the back burner when you are feeling good, doing something you love to do but as soon as you walk through those doors, it all comes front and center.
I call care homes the great equalizers. We may not all end up there, but we are all heading that direction. Justin Bieber will be there someday and so will Tom Cruise. Hard to imagine, unless you see it often. When you see people whose minds have slipped away you think, “There but for the grace of God go any of us.”
Yesterday, the whole time we were there, one lady carried her bedding from door to door, trying to get out, to go home. We were there for an hour and she never stopped. And at night, the staff said, it gets even worse.
One lady is not that old at all, but she suffered a stroke, and her words come out all scattered, like if you took a complete sentence and scrambled up the words that’s how it would come out. Like, “You…..know…..she…..think……my…..son…..train…..second…..year. She always looks stylish and classy and she always smiles when she sees us and points to Elaine’s Mom. I wonder what she would tell us if she could only string those words together?
Another lady has Alzheimer’s and yet they say when she sits down at the organ she can play any hymn you can name. Still another asks me how many kids I have every time I go in there. I think maybe I will give her a different answer every time, or maybe just tell her I have ten.
Whenever I leave there, it seems the birds sound sweeter, the sky seems bluer, life becomes something I want to inhale deeply. When it all comes down to it, we will sell everything we have now and all we will have left will be Jesus. Or not.
I always remember my sister-in-law, who found out how real Jesus was before she passed away at 43 of ovarian cancer. At the end, one of the songs she wanted at her service was, “Just Give Me Jesus.” She learned that as long as she had Him, she had everything.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?Is anything worth more than your soul?
No Lord, not one, single solitary thing.