So in the summer of 2012 I started working in an institute with people that suffer from psychogeriatric diseases.
Now something interesting about these diseases is that it’s not just one person that suffers, but an entire family. In the short 6 week period that I worked there I have seen more crying family members, then I have seen crying patients. I have gotten more emotional because of family members that broke down after seeing their loved ones getting worse day by day, then of patients that kept telling me they wanted to die.
So I just briefly wanted to share something that stuck out to me over these past 6 weeks.
Last week a patient approached me telling me she couldn’t find her room, she also seemed very restless and nervous. Now the unit that I work at is an isolated area. In order to get in or out you need to know a password for safety reasons. It’s quite a maze – So I wasn’t too surprised she couldn’t find her room, since everything kinda looks like each other. After leading her to her room I asked her if anything was wrong with her, causing her to break down in tears. After about 3 minutes of sobbing she started to tell me what was bothering her. She told me that she still couldn’t forgive her father for not letting her go to school when she was younger. All of her brothers and sister were allowed to go to school, but she wasn’t for some reason. The lady was about 85 years old, and this all happened when she was 15. Interesting fact: She grew up in the church. Was a devout churchgoer. Had a bible on her pillow, and every now and then she’d ask me to read from it.
70 years of unforgiveness.
Let’s say she became a christian when she was 15 years old.
A year has 52 weeks, and so 52 sunday morning services.
In 70 years she heard 3640 sermons.
Now forgiveness obviously plays a massive part in the gospel, and since the gospel should be part of every sermon, she was probably very familiar with the term forgiveness. So how on earth does it happen that a 85 year old cries because she never forgave her father for something he did 70 years ago? Here’s my thought:
Unforgiveness is a poison that if not treated right, it won’t be treated for very long time.
What i’m trying to say is that when we fail to forgive today, we will tend to forget about it tomorrow, but it will inevitably come back to us later in time. In her case, 70 years later. When we fail to realize we have unforgiveness in our life, at the time we realize we suffer from it, it already is rooted so deeply in us, that it will only get more difficult to get rid of.
So how do we know we don’t suffer from this right now?
“Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind” Psalm 26:2.
Someone who has heart problems regularly visits a doctor. How does one find out she/he has heart problems? Well I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think you know you have heart problems until you get chest pains, a tingly feeling in your left arm, and a mouth that suddenly tastes like iron..
Let’s not wait till something like that. Let’s check in right now, at this very moment.
Let’s get on our knees and let God reveal ourselves to us.