October 2, 2012

Letter To Dad (From Willem) About The Bed

Dear Dad,
I love my bed. Not inordinately so. People who know me know that I can often be found out of my bed way too early in the morning for a bike ride or a run. I don’t spend too much time there. But I must confess, I love my bed. There’s nothing like after a long day slipping into soft cool sheets and letting your head hit the pillow. It’s a wonderful feeling.
I didn’t think I took my bed for granted. Joni and I decided to get a king-sized bed about eight and a half years ago. The set was lovely and has stood the test of time. (It helped that we slept on a queen sized blow up camping bed for a week or two until we got the new mattress.) When we talked to friends who had gone through misery to try to get a good night’s sleep we appreciated our bed even more. But I realized last night that I do indeed take my bed for granted.
Last night Gerrit and I took your bed away. We replaced that comfort in your life with a hospital bed that we know you hate. If the LORD is so kind as to let you stay in your own home until that point ... you’re going to die in this new bed. Now I hate that piece-of-junk bed as much as you do! Well ... maybe I’d hate it more if I had to sleep in it.
Oh ... it was necessary of course. It wasn’t effective to take care of you in your old bed and it was taking it’s toll on mom’s back and your other caregivers to have to bend over in uncomfortable positions to move you for one reason or the other. It wasn’t safe.
I thought I should write you to mark the passage of this event. It is a big deal! When I consider how much I appreciate every good night’s sleep I’ve had for the past eight plus years WITH my wife IN my own bed WHEN I can get up WHENEVER I want and sometimes NOT WANT to go to the bathroom or see what’s wrong with one of the kids or a fire call or even get kicked in the head by Ella! (Our youngest is very wiggly when she gets between us in bed )
When I think about those things I realize all over again how much this wretched disease has taken away from you again and I hate sin and the fall and I long for Jesus to come back tonight and make it ALL RIGHT!
I realized all over again that this disease strips away everything. Everything! Every human comfort. Every human pleasure. Every human dignity. It’s all being stripped away. We get to see what’s underneath.
It reminds me of when Eustace is turned back into a boy from a dragon in C.S. Lewis’ “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Aslan the Lion tells Eustace to take off his dragon skin and he does – he scratches it off – to find that he’s still a dragon underneath. After doing that a dozen or more times he realizes that he can’t “un-dragon” himself. Finally Aslan cuts deep into Eustace with his claws and the boy can finally clamber out of the foul dragon that he had become.
God’s cutting deep into your life too. Painfully deep. You know what’s underneath? I can see it now. It’s the Everlasting Arms.
As everything else is stripped away from you your Saviour holding you becomes more and more obvious.
I love that. You’re still teaching, Dad! It’s just a different classroom. You weren’t forced into retirement and you haven’t retired.
Thank you for letting the Saviour work out His Will in your life and for sharing it with us.
I love you so much,
  1. What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms;
    What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms.
    • Refrain:
      Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
      Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
  2. Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms;
    Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms.
  3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms?
    I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
    Leaning on the everlasting arms.

1 comment:

  1. And it will be hard on Joni's mom as well. Not being able to share a bed with the husband you love any longer is sad. I bought a single bed for myself and pushed it against my husband's hospital bed at night. That way I could put my hand on his as he went to sleep. Thinking of you and praying for you all.

    Mary VanDoodewaard