Grandma Frazier came to live with my parents for a year or so when she was 98 years old. My dad, then early 70’s, displayed something so beautiful, that it was the first image that popped into my mind when I saw the writing prompt: tender.
Grandma was adamant about having her hair done just right and my sweet dad was the one to do it. He is a former school administrator with a doctorate degree, but that did not stop him from humbly, tenderly, patiently fixing her hair. He coiffed it just the way she instructed, gently teasing her and loving her as he did so. He formed the delicate pin curls in the front per her specific instructions. Their loving interaction – his gentle care for her – is one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen. The image is forever seared in my memory.
Whether it was helping her get dressed or getting readjusted in bed, or cleaning up the bathroom floor after she was not able to make it to the toilet in time, the tender love I witnessed will never be forgotten. My professional dad – well-educated and well-respected by all who knew him – on his hands and knees cleaning up a nasty mess. Not looking for attention, credit or appreciation; just revealing the same humble “attitude which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Oh, how our world today needs some tender care. The hatred and negativity are loud and grating and relentless:
You’re a bigot.
I don’t want you.
It’s all your fault.
No one loves you.
Why would anyone want you?
God will never forgive me.
I am worthless.
I don’t care about you.
You should just die.
And, tender words counter:
You are loved.
God loves you always and forever!
You are created in God’s image.
There is always hope.
God has special plans for your life.
There is no one else like you.
You are amazing!
You were created ON purpose for a GREAT purpose.
I think you are so special!
Oh, how our world today needs some tender care. Be the one to show it, to speak it, to live it. You can change someone’s day…maybe even someone’s life.