I key in the secret 4-digit code, watch for the green light, then open the door in the brief seconds available.
It clamps shut behind me. Locked again. It will soon be tested, one resident at a time, to see if the magic door will open when pushed. It won’t.
Do they feel trapped inside this door?
She looks trapped to me. Wrapped tightly in two blankets and her comforter lies the pretty 71-yr-old lady that on the outside still looks mostly like my mother.
She’s locked in. Today (again) she has refused to get out of bed. She takes in no food. I bring her toothbrush to her, in bed, but she keeps dropping it. So I brush her teeth for her as best I can.
I offer her a water bottle with a straw, but at the moment she’s unsure of what to do with it. I say, “Open your mouth, Mama, like this,” and I demonstrate what an open mouth looks like.
She mimics me. I slip the straw in her mouth. But it sits there idle because she can’t remember to suck.
This looks like slavery to me.
I hear voices outside Mama’s open door. Mrs. W walks in. She is confused. She reads Mama’s name outside the door so she knows this is not her own room, but she doesn’t know what to do about it. She locked herself out of her own room; she can’t get back in.
I say, “I’ll take care of it for you.” I go find an aide with a key. We get Mrs. W safely back inside her own room.
When I get back to Mama’s room, she’s asleep again. So I sit down by her bed.
And think about freedom.
True freedom isn’t about unlocked doors.
It isn’t about making decisions independently.
It isn’t about having multiple options from which to choose.
Freedom is about TRUTH (John 8:32).
And Truth is a person (John 14:6). It’s Jesus.
Jesus IS freedom.
My mom knows Him,
and even though she may not remember,
He never forgets.
Her full freedom—
seemingly dormant to outsiders at the moment—
is just around the corner.
When the Lord unlocks her spirit from her body,
I hear her stir. She recognizes her need to use the bathroom. She hasn’t forgotten how this afternoon. I walk her withering and trembling body to the bathroom. I turn on the faucet for her to wash her hands afterwards.
I notice her security bracelet is so loose on her wrist that I can wriggle it off.
So I unshackle her. I set the bracelet on her dresser instead of her arm.
She doesn’t need it.
She’s no longer a candidate for wandering. She’s free from that temptation, that confusion. Her ticket to the fullest freedom can’t be too long now in coming. She’ll be ready to catch that train when it pulls in.
I can’t always explain why freedom looks like it does. But freedom is His promise (John 8:36). So I hold on to it for my mama. And for me.
I tell her I am leaving now. “I love you, Mama. You are such a sweet mother.”
She smiles back. She says, “I enjoyed you coming. We have such wonderful friends.” I give her a kiss. She tries to give me one back.
I walk down the hall. I punch in the 4-digit code and the magic door lets me out.
Outside, the sun warms my skin. I am reminded I know Freedom. And Freedom knows me.
* * *
In what surprising places have you found freedom?
Check out the inspirational posts at Charlotte and Ginger’s for Spiritual Sunday.