Posts Tagged ‘god’s hands and feet’

Many years ago (about twenty-one actually), I experienced one of those times where I felt confident that I was God’s hands and feet.

I was very pregnant with our our eldest daughter, and working in a group home for disabled adults.

There were five adults living in the home, ranging from about nineteen years of age to over fifty. One had regular visits by her grandmother … I never met family members of any of the others. Four of them had lived much of their lives in institutions, and this intimate home setting would be the closest to ‘family’ that they ever experienced.

I loved my job in this house, with these people.

There was the woman who loved to snuggle up beside anyone on the couch.

There was the woman who loved to grab tightly to hair … I think it was her way of having control, after all we picked her clothes for her each day!

There was the man who regularly stripped off his clothes … from the waist down … when guests were in the house!

There was the man who loved practical jokes … like the time he reached up to pinch the bottom of the lady in a line, just as a staff member stepped in front of him, and when she turned to deal with whoever was touching her behind, it was the staff member, not the jovial client who she faced.

Then there was Carmelita.

Carmelita, the first person I met when I came to the house for my job interview. She yelled at me … loudly. I was told, after I got the job, that they used her as the first line of deciding who to hire, by watching interviewees reactions to her.

Carmelita, or Carm, was a lady in her late forties, born with Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21). She loved gaudy jewelry, all food, and babies. When I met her she was also dealing with the effects of the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. She was often crying or yelling.

I remember the day I said, “Carm, you look so happy today” and she shook her fist at me, while giving me the nastiest face.

I also remember, like it was yesterday, the night I worked at the home, alone.

All of the clients were sleeping, except for Carmelita, who was in and out of crying fits. It nearly broke my heart.

Despite holding her hand, and saying soothing things, nothing seemed to allow me to penetrate the misery that she was experiencing.

Finally, I started to sing (I am NOT a good singer … ask my family) Jesus Loves Me, as I sat on the side of her bed, holding her hand. But, it was in the middle of the night, and I was exhausted.

As I sang, “Yes, Jesus Loves …” I yawned, mid verse.

Without skipping a beat, Carm abruptly stopped crying, and sang with absolute clarity, “me” to finish the verse.

Then, we sang a bit more, together. After which she fell asleep.

The next day, as I was recouping the sleep I had lost that previous night, I was awakened by my hubby, who told me that Carmelita had never awakened that morning, and that she had died.

To know that our shared song, of the most theologically relevant message, would be the last Earthly experience she would have, allowed me to feel that I was being the very hands and feet … and even really bad singing voice, of God.


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