Yesterday my dad went to visit his mother. She lives in a nursing home and has for several years now. She went to live in a nursing home after having many strokes that erased her memory to a degree that she was a threat to herself. She has dementia but there is no difference in her and a usual Alzheimer's patient.
I haven't been to see her in a few years. That sounds cruel and harsh and perhaps it is. I last saw her at Christmas time when she still lived at home. She answered the door that day and had no clue who I was. I was already married and had 2 of my three sons at that point but she didn't know she was looking at her only son's son (me), nor did she know that she was in the presence of her great-grandsons. My grandfather invited me in and while we sat around and visited for a bit my grandmother continued to watch us with some degree of skepticism. It was like she didn't trust who we were or thought we might steal something. Though I spent some time with my dad's parents as a child, they were never really close to me and never made it a point to be in my life to any significant degree. With that said, I must sadly admit that my main concern regarding that aspect of my life is for my dad and the emotions he must feel as he asked his mother yesterday if she knew who he was and her simply, yet sure reply was, "No".
It has to be a massive hit to hear what you thought to be true...your mother isn't capable of recognizing you. In so many ways that moment may mark for him her death. In my twisted sense of reality I no longer thought of her as being alive in my world when she didn't know me. Relationships exist on the continuation of knowing one another.
My thoughts instantly go to Jesus possibly saying to me at the culmination of the ages, "Depart from me, I never knew you"...but initial thoughts aren't always the ones to write about.
My second thought turns toward the utter pain that Jesus must experience in that very moment. Let's face it, while it is horrific for the family, my grandmother is feeling no emotional pain from her current state. Jesus on the other hand must hate the idea that one day he must announce the truth and culmination of one's life to that person.
That makes me want to live better...and I don't mean just morality to the extreme...I mean live life in love with God. It also makes me want to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus. Obviously the shell of my grandmother lives on but it is absent of relationship...so what does it matter. In the same way, what does it matter if I know about God and even read the Bible and even live according to some rules I read about in the Bible if there is never a relationship? If you think about it, isn't it the religious that Jesus tells he didn't know? They did things in His name...but no relationship. He was there at their creation...but no relationship. Why not get to know Jesus on a deep, intimate level? Otherwise we soon realize that life void of relationship is no life at all.