There are moments in life that have taken my breath away: an amazing piece of music, a full moon on snow, witnessing a seizure… Breathlessness, sometimes induced by beauty, and other times by fear; both yield riveting impact. Thankfully, in my life, the beautifully breathlessly have largely outnumbered the fearfully so; and occasionally, beauty has outstripped fear in the moment. Caregiving is wrought with these kind of moments, and perhaps because of what they cost emotionally, they are of rare value. In her novel Safe Harbour, Danielle Steel, writes that the scars on our souls determine who we are; and that none of us are left unscathed – life is too real. Breathless moments seem to hone in on those scars; massaging, shaping them. The wounds themselves are another story.
Back to caregiving – breathless moments can occur when the Alzheimer’s dementia precipitates a violent act, when a wordless child finds a way to say, ‘I love you;” when the seizure ends, and everyone looks like they are breathing again; when you send a depressed loved one out the door, and hope they will come home. And the strange mix of fear and indefatigable hope burnishes the scar. Costly art it is,fired by a finely artistic hand. Romans 5 encourages us that this hope will not disappoint, as it (eventually) reminds us of God’s love for us.