How else can you describe such as journey other than 'sad'?
As we drove away on a recent visit, the conversation led to a question I have asked before in the quietness of my own heart, 'why'? Why does God allow one of His children to walk this path, why doesn't He just call her home? My theology and my heart try to convince me that God is still at work in Ev's life and that through her He may yet be accomplishing HIs purposes in the life of another, but I have to admit, convincing myself of these truths, even though part of me knows it to be true, is not easy; at times is all seems so senseless.
As I've wrestled this through in recent days, my good and gracious God has provided a measure of peace in quietly whispering, 'Ken, if you could just see this through My eyes'. Of course, He is right; as we see through God's eyes things always look different!
In the eyes of God, Ev is still the gentle and gracious lady she has always been; her outward appearance and demeanour may have changed for us but God still sees her in all of her beauty and grace, just the way He created her, and she is still a child of His grace, redeemed and loved by the Lord Jesus. In God's eyes, she is still... fearfully and wonderfully made.; She is still with us because...all the days ordained for (her) were written in (His) book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:14,16)
In Genesis 16, as Hagar is seeking to flee from Sarah, she encounters and angel of God and receives a message from God. It becomes for Hagar a defining moment in which she confesses, 'You are the God who sees me' (13). As I watch Ev's descent, as I watch other friends walk a similar path, I need to be reminded He is the God sees and cares.
There is a story recorded for us in the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Luke, in which...one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. (36-38) Simon and his guests are troubled because Jesus has allowed a 'sinful woman' to touch him. Jesus in using this as a teachable moment turns to Simon and says, Do you see this woman? (44) Simon, do you really see her? Do you see her as I see her?
If we could just see through God's eyes, our whole perspective changes.
As long as I have know Ev, she has been a woman of quiet, confident faith and while it is hard at times to watch as her mind and life slip away, I need to be reminded...the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18) He has not failed Ev and He will not fail her in the days ahead; she has been, is and always will be His beautiful and gracious child. Though I sometimes struggle to make sense of it all, I can yet hold to the promise of God: The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)
And so...We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)