Today’s article is another installment in Brother P.’s column, “Lessons From the Nursing Home.”
So, this very friendly, well-meaning but clueless resident of the nursing home where I work comes into our office saying that she felt bad for the man who did not go to the dining room for meals with all the other residents — the man is fed via a tube placed directly into his stomach.
To make the man feel better, she gave him a cupcake that they had just baked and iced in their occupational therapy session. The occupational therapist, Ruthie, immediately jumped up and ran into the large common room where that man — let’s call him Ernie — sat. Ruthie proceeded to vigorously remove the cupcake from his mouth while his hands did everything they could to keep stuffing the delightful confection back in.
Once the forceful cupcake removal had been completed, Ernie yelled and screamed his disagreement with what had happened. He can’t actually say the words, but his angered face and the tone of his utterances left no doubt that Ruthie was not on his good list anymore. Ruthie did what she did because she knew that the cupcake wouldn’t travel down to Ernie’s stomach but would instead make its way into his lungs where he would develop complications that could very well lead to his demise.
I wonder if that preacher man at church feels the same way as Ruthie. He’s trying to pry this world and all of its evils from our hands to keep us from destroying ourselves, while we, like Ernie, kick and scream our protests.
Maybe I should close my arguing mouth and open my listening ears to hear the words of life.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.