Our current series of devotions was written by Donnelly McCleland from INcontext International.
19 February 2018
WEEK 6: Threads in a Tapestry
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)
I’ve often thought of my life as a tapestry (a woven picture), in which people’s lives are the threads. My life is a thread too, in other people’s tapestries. Some threads run prominently almost throughout the picture, while others are short but important for the overall picture. It’s never a one-sided thing – their ‘thread’ runs through my life, and my ‘thread’ through theirs. And the many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people I have met through my travels have made my ‘tapestry’ particularly interesting and vibrant for me.
This analogy was particularly pertinent during my season as a caregiver in the UK. The very first lady I cared for was completely blind and in the process of transitioning from her own home into a frail-care facility. It was a deeply emotional time for her, and even though it was only a two-week placement for me, I was acutely aware that I was there for a reason: to listen, to be a shoulder to cry on, and to read her husband’s love letters to her (albeit in broken German).
The second lady was recovering from illness and was still quite weak. My time with her was also brief, but physically demanding. She was not a small woman, and one night she realised she could not make it back from the bathroom to her bedroom. She began calling for assistance, ever so politely: “Yoo-hoo, are you there?” I was able to easily lift her from her temporary resting spot on the toilet seat, but soon thereafter, her legs gave way and she descended to the floor, which then became a much bigger challenge. It took me two hours to get her to her bed – after retrieving her wheelchair from the car, which was in the garage that could only be reached through drifting snow.
I worked for another dear lady (who had MS) for many more months; our ‘threads’ were interwoven over a much longer period and we became good friends. She taught me so much about forgiveness (she remained cordial and respectful towards her ex-husband who had left her for another woman after she was diagnosed) and patient endurance (she so seldom ever complained, despite the effects of MS on her body). It was my delight and privilege to lead her to the Lord, and years later I discovered via her daughter (after the lady’s passing) that her mom had in turn led her to the Lord.
Through all the tremendous challenges, I discovered that the Lord is so faithful to His word; His grace is indeed sufficient. And during my stint as a caregiver, my learning curve took a sharp, upward turn and my reliance on the Lord went to a whole different level.
To be continued…
WEEK 4: He Goes Ahead!
WEEK 5: Sometimes There Aren’t Answers