My mom wonders what to do with herself. She’s nearing her eightieth birthday, but age isn’t her problem. Her body is giving out on her. Her arthritic scoliosis is advanced. The pain meds have ceased working as they ought. Last week she fell backwards. It takes time for anyone to heal from such an injury, even more so for one such as she. She once asked her doctor what her prognosis was. “Grim. Not pretty,” he replied.
“I can’t do much anymore,” she says. “So what do I do with myself?”
I told her to pray.
My mom’s of that certain breed of women who’s ever been active. She was a wife, raised six children, and then went on from there to a career in hospital administration. She doesn’t know how to be still. She had her garden fed by her mulch pile. She repaired her own house. Now all these things are lying fallow. She’s simply unable to keep up because her spine is crumbling and twisting inside her. She’s well aware of the fact that soon she will be unable to live on her own and will be in supervised care.
“So what do I do with myself?”
Join the angels and heavenly hosts and pray. That’s what you do when God puts you under the cross and strips you of all distractions so you have nothing left but to pray.
“Ah,” she said. “Now I get it. I can do that. So God has use of me yet.”
Prayer as vocation. Sometimes we forget that. Vocation is what God gives our hands to do—and our mouths.