Months ago, a woman who attended many of my classes in Baltimore told me this story. The words are not verbatim (although some are), but the idea is spot on. Reader, I share this story because it encapsulates that chapter in Sounds of the Trumpet titled Caring For The Elderly.
I had to do it. I knew one day it would come to something like this. I did not know what would bring me to this point, but I sensed it would come: I HAD TO KILL MY MOTHER. I had to do it. I tried other options, but finally something said, “Kill her.” This, believe it or not, happened in prayer.
You see, my mother was getting up in years and had taken ill. By this time, she was visiting a doctor’s office almost every day. One day the doctor gave her bad news. Her eyes watered, and her voice trembled, when she told me the doctor diagnosed an incurable, life-threatening disease.
Then, she did what most scared people do – MMM (Mental Movie Making). She created one worst-case scenario after another. She saw her body withering away to nothing. She imagined how difficult it would be to find someone to change her diapers and ladle softened foods to her parched lips.
I am an only child, and the thought of providing this type of care frightened me. Frankly, I knew I didn’t have it in me to provide that care.
Every night, without fail, I prayed for mom. I sat in long silences. I contemplated all the right words. Nothing. Zilch. Mom was still in pain, still afraid, and still sick.
At this point I wondered, “What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t mom getting better?” Then the answer flashed in my awareness like a bolt of lightning. IN ORDER TO HELP MY MOTHER, I HAD TO KILL HER. Let me explain.
First, I realized that I was praying to better a human scene. I was trying to get God to do something about the picture of a sick, old woman. To understand “the kill”, I have to zoom in on the so-called human scene.
This entire scene of birthing and dying is completely Godless. The idea of mother and child is a completely Godless idea. I knew that whenever you see the word “and”, dualism follows. God is one Infinite, Indivisible, Presence without another.
Mom and child is a lovely picture in the human scenario. But, it is nowhere to be found in the God-reality.
I realized if I wanted to see evidence of Truth, it could not be done holding on to the human concept of mom and child. I could not hold on to the concept of being the daughter of Mrs. Banks. Immediately, I called this woman by her first name. Instead of a human mother, I perceived her as the presence of the One, Infinite and Eternal Life without another – no husband, no child.
All the human concepts of my so-called mother crumbled to nothing – especially age and gender. Rather than seeing “mom” as an aged woman, I now perceived her as Eternal, Timeless Life. No more mention of her supposed age. Or mine either. This was liberating.
In my awareness, I killed the concept of mother, which naturally slayed the child as well. Yes, I became a mass murderer. But when I killed mom, that identity was “healed” of her difficulty.
Holding on to being the child of _____, I held us both in the myth of humanhood. Nothing good could come out of that. God does not work in the human scene. I let go of the entire picture of biological generation.
The beauty of this Revelation is that I don’t have to “stick with it,” the Revelation effortlessly sticks with me.