Sunday, April 27, 2014

Uncle Larry and a big regret

Uncle Larry was blind. 
He laid alone in a nursing home bed, all day, everyday, for 14 years. 
Then he died. 

There was nothing Uncle Larry loved like he loved cats. 
A few times over the years, a relative would bring him a cat to pet. They say when you lose a sense, your other senses get stronger. So, I'd say laying alone in a bed for 14 years with very little human touch made touching a 
soft, cuddly animal pretty special. 
He'd sit with a cat on his lap and pet it for hours. 
He would pet it until the relative took it away.
I don't know how many times Uncle Larry got to pet a cat during those 14 years. I'm guessing, at the very most, 10. 

His nursing home was in a town that I drove through everyday when I was in junior college.  Every two weeks or so I'd stop for a 10 minute visit. 
I felt sorry for him, knew he was lonely, and was attempting a sort of, 
"I'm going to love my Uncle Larry like
 Jesus would love His Uncle Larry."

But come on.
Ten minutes every two weeks?
Is that how Jesus would've done it?
We all know the answer to that. 

Why didn't I bring him a cat to pet every week? 
It wouldn't have been that hard to do. 

I never once took him a cat. 

I just stayed busy with my college life, spent 3 seconds thinking about him when I drove past the home, and gave him a few of
 my oh-so-precious minutes when I felt like it. 

Jesus didn't have an Uncle Larry, but if He had, He would've taken him a cat. 
He would've had meals with him. 
He would've stayed over at the home with him. 
And He would've restored His sight. 

I'm not into living in deep regret because the things I regret in life are all gone, like, washed out of my history to be found no more. 
That's what the Blood of Jesus does.
It washes all the nasty right out of your past, 
right out of your heart. 
(Phillipians 3:13, 1 John 1:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
While it's not good to live in a beat-yourself-up state, I think it IS good to learn from the awful things we've done so that we can do better. 

For the rest of our lives, we're all going to have Uncle Larrys;
people who are having a hard go at it. 
Sometimes they're going to be having a lot harder go at it than we will ever have. 
Sometimes they will be lonely, forgotten, blind, 
or just wanting a cat to pet. 
What are we going to do?

I want to love people better than I loved my Uncle Larry. 

com·pas·sion   (kəm-păsh′ən)
Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.