Tag Archives: quality of life

A Living Sacrifice

11 Mar

After a massive stroke, Dad’s right side remained paralyzed and he was incapable of speaking more than a few words. Gone were the days when he played his guitar with such joy and beauty. (He took lessons until he turned eighty-one.) During the three and a half years he remained in a nursing home, Fuzzy Davis maintained his smile and courageous attitude. With great effort, he used the hall rail to navigate his wheelchair, pausing regularly to wave a wordless greeting to everyone he met.

Our family kept a spiral notebook in his room where we recorded visits, his care, and any bits of encouragement regarding his condition. One day we found two pages overflowing with beautiful words and signed by his Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). Here is a short summary of what we found.

We love Fuzzy so much. He’s always kind and willing to do whatever we ask of him. He never fights us or tries to hurt us. He is such an inspiration and he has blessed our lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to care for him. We all love him. (Signed by the staff.)

 Dad’s last years taught us what quality of life really means. Trapped in a body that no longer responded to his will, Papa still brightened other’s lives. He got me laughing when he was first to decipher the phrase on Wheel of Fortune. He encouraged the chaplain as he nodded his head in agreement with the message and wept during the hymns. He responded graciously to care offered by the CNAs.

Some claim death is better than being confined to a wheelchair and/or bed for years. However, a simple spiral notebook confirmed Fuzzy’s life still had meaning and purpose. His spirit outshone his defective body.

Our deteriorating tent also reminds us that our true home is heaven; we’re just passing through. When Papa completed his ministry, Jesus called him home to total healing and unending joy.

 “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20–21 NIV).

 Our bodies, regardless of their age or vitality, play a crucial role in our spiritual growth and transformation.

 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1–2a NIV).

 As we prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday, let’s offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God and in loving service to others.