I did check on my husband after writing that last post. He was ready for help so I donned gloves, removed the soiled clothing, put on the clean, and got all his accumulated dirty clothes in the washer. He is too heavy for me to lift, so he had to roll onto his hands and knees before I could even attempt to help him up. Once on his feet he was very unsteady and started falling backwards onto me. Before I returned to school, my everyday job involved assisting people with balance issues so I knew exactly how to keep my husband upright. He was able to take a small step towards the chair. His judgement was way off and he began to sit before he was properly in place. The last thing I wanted was for him to be on the floor again, so I maneuvered my leg to allow his bottom to slide from my hip to the chair. Simple body mechanics based on years of practice and training enabled him to end up safely on the chair.
My husband then started yelling at me, claiming that I was pushing him and trying to make him fall. That bothered me so much that I started yelling back at him. I was so mad that he thought I would intentionally try to shove him onto the floor and that I didn’t know what I was doing. I slammed his belt onto the tv tray beside him. I felt like hitting him. He wouldn’t let me speak, he wasn’t listening to any explanation. He just kept yelling over and over again, “Go away! Leave me alone!” With a dramatic door slam I did just that.
A few minutes later I calmed down and decided to give him some food since he had not eaten in nearly a day. I set it in front of him and asked him (nicely and without yelling) why he was so intent on killing himself with alcohol. He has no sense of time, so he believes that the bottle of vodka he opened this morning was actually begun a couple days ago. With the head injury and the alcohol in his system, there was no point in arguing with him. I checked on him a few hours later and discovered he had consumed the food.
Ephesians 4:32 urges us to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving, because Christ has forgiven us. This morning as I was reflecting on how my pride had flared up and caused me to fail miserably at living that out, I was reminded of an old hymn by Theodore Monod.
Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
All of self, and none of Thee.
Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on the accursed tree,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
Some of self, and some of Thee.
Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
None of self, and all of Thee.
I want to live a life that reflects that last verse, but obviously I am not there yet.