How quickly Tim went from calling me “the closest thing to an angel” to calling me Jerry’s puppet! How quickly he went from telling us contentedly “It’s awfully easy to use you people” when he handed us some trash he didn’t know what to do with to “You’re holding me captive!”
But then–how quickly I flew from “It’s a privilege to take care of you!” to “Look at the sacrifices we’ve made for you!” After accusing him of costing us $3,000 for a monitoring system he didn’t want, I had very nearly lacerated him for costing us five days with family in Oklahoma, which he didn’t even know about. He hadn’t asked us to do either, to incur the one or cancel the other.
I was ashamed of myself. Jesus wouldn’t have done that.
When the paranoia surfaced, rather than riding with it I had responded with anger. I had thought, I don’t mind him using us. But I won’t let him abuse us! (I have my rights!)
But Jesus let us abuse Him. He didn’t stop serving us when we turned on him. He gave up his rights–to be understood, to be treated fairly, to be appreciated. He kept on giving, gave more, gave everything. He didn’t have to. HE HAD A CHOICE.
And so did I. I chose badly.
My Bible teacher, Dr. John Mitchell, used to remind us that I Corinthians 13 describes Jesus Christ. “Love suffers long–and is kind,” he would say. “Jack Mitchell suffers for awhile–and then blows up.”
That was me.
Jesus didn’t defend or justify himself. We berated him, beat him, wrung the life out of him. He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue him and destroy the opposition, those who didn’t know or appreciate that he was doing this for them. No one made him die. He chose to. That’s why he came.
Our pardon required death, a death of the spotless Lamb, and he put himself willingly into the hands of the butchers–the Lamb who by doing so has become our Shepherd. He called us, his flock, to do likewise–to lay down our lives for each other.
Although we didn’t recognize our need for mercy, He quietly suffered the consequences we deserved for flipping off our Maker and made mercy possible. Isaiah 53, if rendered more clearly than in most translations, would end, “He was considered one of those who broke the laws of God when all the time he was the only one who never broke a single one of them. He even bore the punishment the lawbreakers deserved and he prays for us, the very ones who broke them.”
I was a Humbled Tigger, a remorseful Tigger. I was a grateful-God-is-not-like-me Tigger. I was a thank-You-for-forgiving-me-aGAIN Tigger.
I threw Tim out April 2nd. The next day I called him and asked casually, “Are you up for dinner and a couple more episodes of Roswell tonight?” He hesitated briefly and said, “Sure.”
And so, like a couple divorced by mutual consent, we started dating again.
For familes dealing with dementia, this website should help: http://dementia-care-notes.in/caregivers/understand-caregiving-role/