Listen to this week’s Devotional here.
Author: Amy Ostwald
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV) Colossians 4:2:
Driving across town, I recognize that the trees in Boulder are at their peak fall color. They are stunning on this October blue-sky day.
My thoughts turn to my 96-year-old mother, whom I’ve left at home. Almost certainly this will be her last fall season. I hold that thought in my mind as I drive past shimmering golden leaves, and it hits me hard: What would it be like to know this would be the last fall that one would ever experience? The beauty of the scene sharpens and takes my breath away. I am suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to get Mom out of the house to see all of this. Tomorrow it will rain, and then I will be leaving town for a few days… This will be my last chance: I have to get her out this afternoon, and fast— before the sun sets behind the mountains.
To my relief, Mom agrees to go for a ride. As we drive down a street lined with fall color glory, I start wondering if Mom is even seeing the trees. Her back is bent over, and it is only with great effort that she lifts her chin up to see out the window. I slow down and begin to point them out. “Look at THAT tree, on your right!” I pour enthusiasm into my voice, wanting desperately for her to see and experience the wonder that I am witnessing that day. But she is struck by something else, something more in her line of vision: “Look at all these CARS on the street. They are parked on both sides of the street— there is almost no room for us to fit!” And— “Look at all these cars! Where could they possibly be going?” Mom is more interested in the colors of the
cars than the leaves on the trees.
I am deeply disappointed that Mom isn’t having the blow-out high that I am having over the day.
At one stop sign, she lets out a huge sigh, her eyes closing and her head falling to her chest. I had wanted to give my mother a great gift, but instead the tour of colors has only made her sleepy.
Back home, settling my mother into her recliner, I realize in a grace-filled moment that I am the one who has received a great gift this day. The experience of living with my mother, near the end of her life, has deepened my consciousness: life on this earth is undeniably, exquisitely precious.
Gracious God, Give me a heightened awareness of the gifts all around me. May I live my days
with a heart of gratitude. AMEN