On the drive home from dinner out with Oma, I was feeling badly because I didn’t know if I should have left when I did.
Should I have gone with Dad to have coffee with her afterwards?
Was my time with her at the restaurant enough?
She probably thinks I’m pretty ungrateful.
I have a really hard time with boundaries, as you can probably tell. I hate the idea of not being there enough, not taking advantage of every opportunity to be as nice as I can be. I hate the idea that if I say no to something, it could mean that an opportunity is lost – the person in question will become resentful, bitter, or angry – or will be left lonely, uncomforted, and uncared for.
Yet, as I continued to think through these thoughts on my drive home, something came to mind that my wonderfully wise husband pointed out to me not long ago: what I want for people in my life is not that they would be grateful that I would spend time with them, or that they would not feel lonely because of my company. What I truly want is that they find their joy and peace and affection in Jesus. That sounds trite but, it’s really humbling to realize that the love of Jesus doesn’t rely on our us. Our efforts don’t create an extra way for him to work. They don’t hold him up.
He is strong and he is God, and his love will not run dry – for everyone.
Because God loves my Oma, I don’t need to think that I’m supplementing his love, and if I’m not there, his love will be lesser.
Honestly, it was such a helpful thing to remember. As I continued to drive, it was very helpful for me to pray that Jesus would bring his love, peace, and affection to Oma. And this is not a cop-out prayer or something that can replace spending time with her in the future! Rather, it helped me centre myself as I thought about how I spent this time. Jesus’ love is relentless. We cannot add to it, we’re only along for the ride, pointing it out as we’re able.
All praise to the King.