Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No!

Why Keeping Your Word Matters!

This week I have been contemplating the idea of keeping my word because I have recently been exposed to several different people from several different organisations that have made certain promises or at least made statements directly to me and then reneged on their word to me.

I think this is perhaps one of the worst things one person can do to another and because I happen to be on the receiving end I am experiencing first-hand how absolutely devastating it is to take someone at their word and then discover it was meaningless.

Let me explain: My mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and it has started to become clear that I can no longer care for her at home and that she needs to be placed into a home for her own well-being.

With the aid of the internet finding a suitable home for her was easy enough; making the interview to discuss the matter with the relevant people was also easy enough; taking the afternoon off for the said interview was a snap; however, now that we have progressed to this point, I am now dependent on that home to notify me when my mother can be brought in. I was told during the interview that there was room available and that I would be contacted the following day, precisely a week ago today, and when I didn’t hear anything, by Thursday last week, I made two phone calls and left messages that to date have not been returned. This week the pattern continues.

In the meantime, I was instructed to ensure that my mother was willing to enter the home voluntarily, as they would not take her against her will. I waited for the last possible moment to broach the subject with my mother because anyone that is caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient knows that although they are very forgetful and have no concept of time; they do however become very obstinate and stubborn when they have set their minds on something. I have successfully persuaded her to move to the home, so she therefore expects to move immediately and having to explain that I have not yet received feedback from the home has become an almost hourly chore. My mother has already packed her belongings several times and becomes irritated when I have to unpack her things because she can’t move yet.

In another example I repeatedly, requested assistance for a social worker specifically qualified for the aged to assist me with this new situation of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. I merely needed assistance and guidance from someone with more experience than I, but after making several requests with promises to contact me and no success, I have eventually given up and found most of the assistance I needed on the internet instead.
I am pretty sure the aforementioned individuals concerned are very nice people and that circumstances probably prevented them from responding, as they indicated that they would; however, them not keeping their word to me has created a lot of unnecessary stress for my mother and for those of us who are caring for her.

The unnecessary anticipation, change in her expectations and false hope are all very cruel to my mother who is already living in the confusing and frightening world of Alzheimer’s…

Idle Words are meaningless to the ones who speak them, but devastating to those who believe them!!!

With no other recourse but to wait and being the kind of person that turns things inwards, I started asking myself whether I have not perhaps done the same things unintentionally to others.

My conclusion is I probably have and a search of God’s Word pertaining to idle words produced some verses that speak rather harshly on subject. No doubt necessary because the devastation caused by idle words is inexcusable.

Matthew 12: 37, has the following to say… “Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” (The Message) Emphasis my own

Ecclesiastes 5:6-7Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with  “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation? But against all illusion and fantasy and empty talk there’s always this rock foundation: Fear God!” (The Message) Emphasis my own

James 5:12 “And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.” The Message (MSG) Emphasis my own.

Harsh words I know…but necessary sometimes…a real wake up call to me…

I have decided to make a conscious effort to change the way I communicate or to at least be more aware of what I say to people. It so easy to tell someone I will pray for them or fetch something for them or even drop something off and then simply forget about it, never thinking about the impact on their lives. If I am reminded the best I can do is apologize, but an apology cannot compensate for unnecessary stress I have inadvertently placed on another person, in a very stressful world, simply because I did not keep my word…

Update: 22 July 2014: 
Finally after a long wait my sister in law was informed yesterday that there is no available space at the home for our mother after all...Just another disappointment. In this new normal we as a family are finding ourselves in...the one constant that we have found is a steady supply of disappointment of hopes raised and shattered.

Have you been on the receiving end of broken promises and faced unpleasantness, stress or devastation simply because someone did not keep their word? Or have you like me perhaps considered that you may have been the one not to keep your word.

Thankfully, we can still turn to our God for help and correction…and just maybe these words above will help us to prevent doing the same to another.

*Hugs* till next time.


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