Aaron and I went bowling this past week with my dear friend, Joyce, and her sons. Aaron and Johannes have bowled quite often together since Joyce and I started taking them last year.
Johannes is non-verbal but look at how he speaks with joy all over his face when he watches his ball knock down some pins.
Last week Johannes’ brother, Christoph, was able to join us. Christoph hadn’t bowled in quite some time.
As I sat there watching Joyce work with Christoph before and during each of his turns, I was so touched by her kindness and her patience.
And in that bowling alley, I saw the hands of God.
Remember when Jesus told His followers that they had visited Him, clothed Him, fed Him…and they told Him that they had not done any of those things for Him?
But then Jesus told them that when they had fed and clothed and visited others, they had done it unto Him.
“…as you did it unto one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.”
Every parent caring for children is in many ways living out these verses.
For those parents with special needs children who become special needs adults, the continual care doesn’t typically stop at a certain age. The needs of our special sons and daughters are ever present…and often increase…with age.
We parents might often wish for more freedom to help in various ministries in our towns or around the world, but here we are at home still caring for the needs of our children after all these years. Caregivers are nearly impossible to find or to afford. It’s easy to feel stuck and rather useless as far as “serving the Lord.”
But in that bowling alley, God have me a powerful image of just the opposite.
In our own homes, every single day, we can live out God’s mission for our lives.
Every demonstration of love…
Every load of laundry…every cooked meal…every vacuumed floor…every cleaned-up mess…every repeated conversation, over and over and over!!….every doctor visit…every crisis…every decision…every tear shed…
We have done unto the least of these…the overlooked and sometimes forgotten ones…the marginal in many eyes…
And so we have done these actions unto God Himself.
God has given us such a precious opportunity within the walls of our own homes! An opportunity to serve Him every day without even walking out our doors. It just doesn’t often FEEL that way to us.
I hope that all of you caregivers out there, in whatever capacity that may be…but especially in your own homes…will know that as you tend to your loved ones, you are also serving God in one of the most daily and difficult ways.
One day we will hear God’s words saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
For Joyce, today, I say, “Well done, my friend! Very well done.”