Can you believe it?

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, March 5, 2021

The young couple opened their home to give what they had. What they had was a new baby, a single bed in the basement, and hearts allowing the elderly woman a place to sleep.

They soon realized sharing their one and only bathroom might be a bit of a challenge as well as the quiet evening gatherings they’d been used to. You see, the woman loved chitchat and her incessant chatter as the new baby slept added a bit of white noise around the house.

When meal time rolled around, the woman helped herself. Her presence was hard to escape and as they traveled here and there, she barged right into the backseat directing traffic as if the young couple were her personal chauffeurs. Not a nickel was offered for gas … not once.

Each morning the young couple went to work while the elderly woman didn’t so much as leave the house. She readily entertained herself and the child without any thought of looking for work outside the house.

She did manage to wander about the neighborhood for blocks at a time in the evening which gave them a little time to themselves, but soon, they’d had enough, and the woman was sent packing.

Can you believe it? The nerve of the woman to take advantage of such a kind young couple!

Can you believe it? If not, perhaps you’d believe it from this perspective.

The young couple opened the doors to their home to give what they had. What they had was a new baby, a single bed in the basement, which allowed grandma a place to sleep.

Once she’d settled in, they soon realized that sharing their one and only bathroom wasn’t all that bad as she offered to scrub the tub and the toilet a time or two.

The evenings brought with it fun conversations, but eventually all settled in to a quiet rhythm.

Meal time came and grandma not only helped herself, but helped with the planning and prepping of meal making so the young couple might have a lighter load after their long day’s work.

When errands needed running, grandma hopped in the back of the car caring for the little one in the car seat beside her so the parents could share conversation up front with one another.

Not a nickel was offered for gas because grandma wanted to give of her presence while bonding with the baby … and that was worth far more than silver or gold.

Entertaining herself by entertaining the child each day was a delight.

Some evenings, walking the city blocks for exercise was a brave show of courage for grandma who knew not the neighborhood.

One day, grandma packed her bags and left. You see, the time promised the little family had come to an end, and grandma needed to get back to the farm … back home to grandpa. It had been a joint effort you know. Grandma served without grandpa beside her, and grandpa served on the home front without grandma beside him. Each sacrificed a little so the little one could grow.

Can you believe it? I think you can.

They say stories are a matter of perspective. I say, stories are a matter of the heart. Accurate perspective takes discernment. If discernment is not used, then perspective can quickly become skewed which can turn into bearing false witness.

I love what Philippians 4:8 has to say about this. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable … if anything is excellent or praiseworthy … think about such things.”

And I say … speak about such things … write about such things … and desire to aspire to such things. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)

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