I have come down to Dorset to ‘watch and wait’ with my Dad. He had a bad fall down the stairs, has a clot on his brain with no possibility of an operation because of his age and dementia. So we wait and pray for a peaceful end.
This afternoon, alone with him in his hospital room, I read the 23rd Psalm for him. His one undamaged eye opened and looked straight at me in, what I interpreted to be, an appreciative and knowing way.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Seeking other passages that might ‘get through’ the fog of dementia, lack of speech and not knowing how far my lovely Dad remains in this battered and frail shell, my mind went to Numbers 6 and the Aaronic blessing. This evoked some guttural sounds of recognition.
“The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
It was so right for the moment, but it also sparked the memory the my Dad always used this blessing in a service of baptism and would have done so for each of his three grandchildren, Rachel, Adam and Ruth. How wonderful, I reflected, that God blesses us from the beginning of our lives to the very end, and indeed beyond!
Two days ago Dad’s fourth great-grandchild was born – a new life of blessing to Rachel and Richard and Ted. I pray that my Dad will also enjoy that new life of blessing, which is with his Heavenly Father.