Before we get back to Gandhi in 30 minutes, here is an uplifting piece from the man who gave us Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse (we’ll talk about this one later – a repository of his writings exists here), the late Dr. Rembert S. Truluck. Take the hint!
by Rembert Truluck, December 20, 2002
My mother now is totally blind. This happened about two months ago as her sight gradually declined into no sight at all. The adjustments that she has made to this turn of events are truly remarkable. My mother is 91 years old, very strong and in her right mind. She is as clear thinking and as determined in spirit as she ever was. I am proud of her.
The greatest adjustment that she has had to make is letting other people do things for her that she always did for herself. Other people on the staff of the retirement center now wash her clothes for her, bring her food tray to her in the dining room, and administer her medications to her. Her seeing friends read her letters to her, help guide her to visit other residents and show her the love and support that she has demonstrated to others during the six years that she has been a resident at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center in Laurens, SC.
I thank God for what I am learning from my mother. I thank God for the people around her who are demonstrating the love and compassion that God has already poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
I enjoyed a visit with my mother during the first weekend of December. My children, Russell and Susan, came with their partners to join our visit on Saturday. We talked, laughed, caught up on our news, and went out to eat together. Mother had a good time, and we had a good time with her. She laughed and talked and was happy, but she never saw what we look like now.
I learned again from my mother that you never give up no matter what happens. I learned again that faith in God’s presence in your life really does make a difference. I learned that no matter how difficult life gets, you can handle it if you try.
When my mother finally realized that she would not see again, she at first was depressed and sad. I was worried about her. In a few days, however, she regained her positive and pleasant outlook on life, and I learned from her once again that you can’t keep a good woman (or man)
down! Perhaps one reason that God keeps my mother living is to teach me and others some things that we need to know.
I talk with my mother on the phone almost every day. I always learn things that I need to know in these phone visits. I have often called my mother to ask her how long and at what temperature to cook a roast or ham. She always knows!
My mother was my first teacher. She later worked in the Kindergarten that I attended and was my first teacher in Sunday school. I did not just learn information; I learned how to enjoy being myself and how to accept myself as a person of value and potential. My mother believed in me; so I believed in myself.
What kind of teacher are you becoming for the people around you? If your life touches others, you are a teacher, whether you realize it or not — whether you want to be or not. Is your teaching positive or negative? Do you help other people feel good about themselves? Do you share with others the good things that God is doing in your life? What are you teaching others by the way you handle adversity in your life?
John Bunyan was an early Baptist leader in England. He was imprisoned for preaching and teaching without church approval. When John Bunyan went to prison, he wrote that he was not so concerned for himself, but he was concerned for his little blind son who might not do so well without him to be with him! John Bunyan then wrote one of the greatest of all Christian devotional classics: “Pilgrim’s Progress.” Find a copy and read it.
My mother and I talked about how others had handled blindness. We discussed the marvelous life of Fanny Crosby, the gospel song writer who was blinded at the age of four when a doctor put the wrong drops in her eyes. Fanny Crosby wrote more hymns in evangelical hymnbooks than any other person. Her life was active and productive. She wrote hundreds of hymns, including my favorite: “Rescue the Perishing” after she had visited a rescue mission. Verse three: “Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore. Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness; cords that are broken will vibrate once more!” Praise God for these inspired words and for Fanny Crosby!
John Milton was blind.
Sight is optional. Faith, hope and love are not.
My sister, Jackque, just sent my mother a flower for Christmas. She sent a narcissus plant. Mother cannot see it, but she can enjoy the sweet smell of this special flower! The card said: “To give you a sweet smell for Christmas.”
As usual, my mother placed the plant outside her door so that other residents can enjoy it also.
Dr. Truluck passed away on Nov. 14, 2008, at the age of 74. We miss him. The good doctor, author, minister, teacher, and activist was a supporter of Soulforce’s work. You should be too – please pledge.