I kneel on the damp rug in the pink tiled bathroom and let my arms drop to my sides. Turning my palms up, I bend forward until the backs of my fingers touch the fuzzy loops of the rug.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whisper. Smiling with relief. Tearful with gratitude. Still amazed by the miracle He worked here just a while ago.
Mom consented to a bath.
“Thank you, Lord. Thank you.”
This bath is Mom’s first in three weeks or more. I have suggested or asked or pleaded with her almost every day, sighed when she said no, then prayed that tomorrow will be the day she says yes. Her refusal to bathe is stacked among myriad other refusals, like so many boulders stuck in a muddy road. No to breakfast, no to medications, no to combing her hair, changing clothes, putting on shoes. So many no’s from Mom, so many prayers from me.
And so many answers from the Lord! Answers delivered in a stunning way, like sunlight breaking through a storm cloud. “Yes!” My mother’s sudden yes. Yes, she will eat. Yes, she will walk outside for a while.
Today, yes, she would take a bath. A miracle.
Now the tub is rinsed, the shampoo bottle capped, the towels back on the rack. Mom is settled in her chair facing my father’s, with Charlie dog between them. I linger in the bathroom, savoring the sweetness of the past hour, listening to my father’s booming praise for the woman he still loves so patiently, so dearly.
“Look at you, Honey! You look beautiful!”
“My hair is all wet,” she says. I can’t see her, but I imagine Mom patting her head, a smile flitting around her lips, settling in her eyes. Her words are single syllable notes I can scarcely make out in the loud chorus of celebration from my father.
“It’s shiny!” he fairly roars. “Clean and combed and shiny!”
“Thank you, Lord.” I must say it once more before I rise from the rug. For my father’s joy, my mother’s calm, my own relief. They will be fuel for our hope for many days to come.
The Lord met us here today with His sweet provision. With wisdom, the promised reward of patience. The wisdom of warm water, slow movements, a daughter’s perseverance, a husband’s devotion. This bath, this one miracle in the string of daily miracles we are given in answer to our prayers, will light our steps forward. Small steps, and slow, but taken with the Lord of all hope leading the way.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
We pray to You, Father, in weariness, but with faith. We pray in desperation, but with hope. We pray in confusion, but believing that You hear, trusting You will answer our prayers with power and mercy. Great is Your faithfulness. Thank You, Lord.