Her fingernails and toenails had all been soaked and clipped, and the pink on her toenails reflected the light from above. Satisfaction seeped from my soul.
“Ma-Maw, it’s time to wash your hair.” I smiled, encouragingly nodded. The long, frayed ends of gray hair were not her normal. No, she’d kept her hair short and tidy for as long as I could remember. I have one picture of her with longer hair, when she was 26.
“No. I don’t need it washed,” she said emphatically.
“Please,” I pleaded.
“Okay.” The defeat in her voice broke my heart.
I had already set the kitchen table with my necessities—warm water, shampoo, towels. I’d have to work quickly.
I walked her fragile self over to the kitchen slowly and carefully, and she sat down in the wooden chair. Though I counted it a privilege, I felt overwhelmed. I had been assigned a task by family and didn’t quite know if I could pull it off. But I’d said I’d do it. And I’d do it. I’d try.
I had to think outside the box because she was too frail to get into the bathtub. Her back was too frail and painful to lean over into the sink. She could barely make it into the car to go to her doctor appointments. Going to a hair dresser deemed out of the question.
Why did I feel like the one deemed useless? I was scared. And I couldn’t have her slipping on that floor. I couldn’t risk another bone in her precious back broken.
I wrapped towels around her soft pink nighty and around the chair. Warm water gently poured from the pitcher in my hand’s grasp over her precious hair. In the middle of the kitchen.
“It’s cold.” She began to pout and cry like a little child. But getting a glimpse of her as a child was precious. A smile grew across my face. It would be over so soon.
With the shampoo rinsed out, I wrapped her in warm towels, slipped a baby blue clean nighty over her sweet head, and led her back to her chair in the living room. Fresh and clean.
“Ma-Maw, it’s time to trim your hair,” I said as I combed her beautiful tangles. The first time I had ever cut her hair. Little did I know, it would be the last.
Every now and then, she’d utter, “That’s good enough.” Her patience was growing thin.
As I dried her hair, I couldn’t wait to curl it, to mask the uneven layers by my imperfect hands.
“Ma-Maw, this is the last curl. Let me just spray it with hair spray, and we’ll be done.” In her weak condition, this was a traumatic experience for her.
“There. All done, Ma-Maw.” I smiled, relief seeping from my weary soul.
“I want to see it.” She stood to her sweet feet like a spring chicken and walked with renewed energy down the hallway and into the bathroom. She looked into the mirror and smiled. “Thank you, Baby. That’s real pretty. I appreciate you for doing that.”
I couldn’t refrain the giggles dispensing from my heart and lips … her attitude had completely changed. It was the best idea she’d ever had.
When I look in the mirror, what will I see? Lord God Almighty, when you are done with me … what will I see? Will I be pretty, like you? With all the bad trimmed away, will I be a reflection of you?
When you snip away the attitude, the self-righteousness, the holier than thou, the stubbornness, the hatefulness, the bitterness, the grudges, the anger, the feelings of uselessness, unworthiness, the feelings that you’ll never get it right, the worry, the fear, the impatience, the unloveliness … all the frayed, scraggly dead ends that don’t belong on your creation—me.
Do you get frustrated at me? Do you giggle at me? Do you count it a privilege?
I do want to make you proud. You know I do.
Help me to work with you. Help me not to fight you all the way. Help me to get excited over change, no matter how traumatic. And trust that you’ll do what you say. For it’s one of the best ideas you’ve ever had.
Help me to reflect the Light from above.
Is there something particular you need trimmed from your life? Right now, I need fear and worry trimmed … that’s what I can see at the moment. How may I pray for you?
12 thoughts on “Reflecting the Light from Above”
You are my hero, Shelli.
Thank you … and you are my hero. Praying for you … you know I am.
A beautiful grandmother and granddaughter—you two. Shelli, one of the things I love about reading blogs is the privacy to cry when I'm deeply touched…
Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy
Aw, Wendy. Thank you. They were the best grandparents … and their lives had been so imperfect before I came along. I can't help but smile when others tell me negative things about them … from their past … there is nothing I can find out that will make me love them less. They were mine.
Now that reminds me of how Jesus feels about us. Bless you.
Oh Shelli, you are such a gifted story teller. I loved this snippet into your tender care for your Me-Maw. What a gift indeed. And what beautiful applications you offer. May we all be willing to let Jesus snip away our attitude, self-righteousness and selfishness so that we might reflect Him better. What a gift you were given that day.
Your ending reflects what I wonder too, about our Savior's thoughts of us.Thank you for your beautiful words and the lovely pictures too.
What do I need trimmed? My workaholic tendencies are slipping back in. I don't want that! I would appreciate prayers to leave school earlier and not stay late to do things that aren't necessary at the time.
Yes, Wendy. 🙂 I hadn't even thought of that … yes!
Thank you, Jeanne. Oh yes, every moment with her was a gift. Truly. I don't know exactly how she did it, but she made me love her. 🙂
Melodie, I was wondering if you had started back to school. I'm saying a prayer for you today … that God will direct your path … show you where you need to be. xo
I felt your prayers, Shelli, because today I left 25 minutes after the school day was done! Know that I am praying for your attendance at the ACFW conferences in September too. Blessings…
Thank you, Melodie. I'm a little nervous … 🙂 But I just want to be me and soak in all I can. I need those prayers.