“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (Psalm 42:7, NIV)
A few days after Christmas, the nursing home called my husband because his father was agitated, striking the staff and trying to leave. Jay headed over there to talk to him. Jay listened to him describe a conspiracy, and it was up to his father to make things right, so he had to leave. Jay suggested that it was too cold for him to be outside, and then he took him back to his room to open some mail, which was always enjoyable for him. Eventually his father calmed down.
Jay did an excellent job de-escalating the conflict by just listening to his father, even in his confusion. Jay did not fight him, nor tell him that he was wrong. He then focused him on a more pleasant task.
Sadly, Jay’s dad died unexpectedly the next day. In “listening” to this conversation in retrospect, perhaps something deeper was also going on. People who are approaching death often use symbolic language, even if they don’t know they will soon die. I wonder if something in his spirit knew that he would have to leave and “make things right” soon. We are thankful that he is now with the One who makes all things right.
Prayer of Response:
“Lord Jesus, help us to listen to those who are hurting or anxious as a first response that we might bring Your transforming grace into our family conflicts. Amen.”
—Submitted by Libby Rutherford
Image by Poswiecie from Pixabay