Text: Anne Lindfors
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Have your sometimes wondered what life would be like if things had gone differently? If you had not fallen ill. If you had been able to go to the summer services. If there had not been an angel to protect you in an accident.
Once, at a quiet moment, I found myself wondering what my life would have been like if my mother had not had a memory disorder. If I could still go and visit with her. If she would come and open the door for me and we would both have our eyes light up with joy. If she could pat me on the shoulder and speak the familiar words, ”How lovely that you came! God’s Peace!”
We would cook together and share news about our lives. I would tell her about the joys and worries of my daily life, let her listen to our kids’ singing recorded on my phone. I would massage her shoulders, we would add some words to the crossword puzzle lying on the table, and chat about things. When leaving, I would hug her hard and we would bless each other with the gospel. When I would look back on the driveway, I would still see her waving at the door. And I would turn to wave a few times, until the road disappears into the trees.
Although we cannot enjoy that kind of togetherness any more, I feel empowered by these memories. I feel grateful for what used to be. Grateful for the love that left a mark.
And that love is still there. I found that one day when I was pushing my mother in a wheelchair on the yard and singing to her. Although she had not recognized me when I came, she seemed to react to the familiar song. When I saw that her lips began to form the words, I stopped worrying about outsiders hearing us. My heart bursting with happiness, I continued to sing the song that I had sung with my mother so often. “The peace of God be with you! Dear friends we must depart.” For a moment I felt we were sitting on a hard bench in summer services, nostalgic but happy.
It does not help us to feel sorry for things that did not happen. But I think it is only really harmful if it makes us dissatisfied. At its best, awareness of the number of ways things could have gone makes us see God’s guidance in our lives and appreciate the value of the people who are dear to us. We can be grateful for good memories, but should also recognize the good and wonderful things that we still have.
One day, when I had been reminiscing about the moments I had spent with my mother, I suggested that my husband should take our son to the Opisto. That would give them some extra time together. I also thought that he could stop to visit his own parents on the way. Now that it is still possible.
It is not good to think too much about what could have been. Children often teach us about that. Where an adult only sees a closed door or a broken dish, a child with an open mind can see an opportunity. I was once again reminded about this by our cheerful five-year-old son: “The hole in my sock is not really bad. I can now use that toe better to brake!”
I can be happy and think that the Heavenly Father has given me the kind of life that I need. A life that, even with its pains, is best for me. I can also securely trust that God will guide us toward heaven. And if that happens, nothing needs to go differently.
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
Välähdyksiä rovasti Pentti Kopperoisen elämän varrelta sekä ajankuvaa suomalaisten elämästä 1930-luvulta nykypäiviin.
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