I like to sing hymns to my babies at night: they make nice lullabies, and they’re a good shot in the arm for an exhausted mama. Tonight I was singing “…and I will raise you up, and I will raise you up, and I will raise you up on the last day,” and I thought sure–on the very last possible day. I’m not trying to be funny here. Sometimes it feels like God waits until the last minute.
My mother’s Alzheimer’s is progressing terrifyingly fast, and every morning she suffers through an attack of spiritual doubt and misery. This morning she told me “everyone keeps talking about mercy…all about mercy….” She couldn’t finish her sentence, but I thought I caught the implication: where’s the mercy for me? I didn’t know what to tell her. I believe in God’s mercy on the last day, but I don’t know why, for some people, He doesn’t send it earlier. Where is the mercy in my brilliant, wise, eloquent mother spending the last ten years of her life in confusion and humiliation?
I know I’m missing something here. I know–I believe–that a life of hardship can have more joy and peace than just the promise of heaven. But I don’t see it right now.
Sometimes a crumb falls
from the tables of joy,
sometimes a bone
To some people
love is given,
–“Luck” by Langston Hughes