Written by Katie Pezzutto
My mother has lived in a privatized care home for the past several years. In Canada, privatized health care is the colloquial term for an underfunded, overcrowded money-making machine, led by a leash at the strategic hand of greedy millionaires.
As the facility she lives in is severely understaffed, I have seen my Mom wait weeks for a bath and be spoken down to by overworked nurses. At some points, my mother has feared for her life due to neglect and malpractice by hasty handling. Although her battle and cause deserve as much—if not more—media attention than Donald Trump’s attention-seeking Twitter feed, she has not been offered the privilege or the dignity. In 2018, she launched a complaint that almost went viral. Still, not much has changed. The ivory palace remains untouchable, guarded by icy money-mongering “higher-ups.”
Although the heartless behaviour of uncaring owners and consistent symptoms of corruption are unbelievable, my mother’s attitude is the thing that I find most shocking.
Her joyful spirit and determination are fierce, breaking down the self-pity of nurses and residents around her. Although she can barely move her arms, the gentle touch of her words and sweet presence crashes over a room with more power than a renegade tidal wave.
On countless occasions, her soft presence has calmed the nerves of families visiting their dying loved ones. Many nurses have shed their crusty exterior and confided in her with stories of domestic abuse, failing faith and crumbling marriages.
She takes note of neighbours who don’t have families, takes her Bible into those rooms and reads to them for hours. Her consistency, patience, and peaceful spirit has led many to Christ’s embrace. In the most unconventional, inconspicuous way, my mother is a powerhouse for the Kingdom.
When she became sick, friends abandoned her. Her husband left her. Time magazine isn’t voting her in as woman of the year. But the Creator of the Universe, the King above all and Prince of Peace sees her. He knows her name and His delight towards her stretches further than the depth and width of a trillion oceans.
She is saving souls by sacrificing her own desire to wallow in the constantly accessible trap of self-pity and defeat.
Thus is the path of the meek Jesus talked about in Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (ESV).
I’m not saying abuse is okay. My mother, myself and Members of Parliament are in the slippery battle for the rights of disabled and elderly people. But in the midst of it, my mother chooses to keep her eyes on eternity and the value of souls, not her temporary comfort.
Her choice is more precious to God than a wall filled with awards, the accolades of an audience or Donald Trump-sized media coverage.
Are you willing to let go of the world’s definition of success to be a life-changer right where you are? If the answer is yes, you will find abundant peace and a life worth living in the most unexpected places.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone would lay his life down for his friends” John 15:13 (ESV).