Something’s been going on with my roommate’s new aide. He was personable and very nice when he first started working. But during the month that he’s been working with us, his personality changed. He became more caustic, and meaner. He no longer engaged with me, and there were days when he wouldn’t speak to me at all (not even to ask me where the spoons were, when I was standing right in front of the sink washing dishes. He preferred to ignore me and open every drawer we had to find them himself). Later, my roommate informed me that he was actually saying some pretty nasty things about me behind my back and that if it didn’t stop soon, the comments were mean enough that he’d want to ultimately find a new aide to work with. He gave me some examples that would have had me in tears at other points in my life.
This time, though, I wasn’t really bothered. God gave me some immediate discernment over the situation, and I realized that the animosity was coming from external factors and wasn’t towards me personally. My roommate was very offended on my behalf, and I believe his exact words were “It’s mean, and it’s undeserved, and if I could physically do it I would’ve thrown him out the window.” My response, meanwhile, was “it doesn’t matter, it’s just words, and if that’s the price of getting you good care I don’t mind taking the hit.”
He also refuses to do anything extra if he thinks it is helping me. Even when it affects my roommate too. See, an aide’s job is to help my roommate get out of bed and to work. Then, home from work and back to bed. However, that’s not really how life works. Life doesn’t go from bed to work. When you’re living with someone, there’s a life at home too. Sometimes that life needs conversation. Sometimes he has to see something or sign papers. Sometimes there are things in the van that need to come inside. But anything not directly related to care is seen as my territory and he refuses to both help with it or even wait for me to do it.
I’m not sure what those external factors are that triggered this animosity. Either way though, Jimmy was going to have a conversation about it with his aide. And so I turned to prayer. I’d already covered the selection process in prayer. God sent us the man that he wants to be in our house every day. I know that because I prayed for that. Why this particular man? I don’t know. But God wants him with us for a reason. So, with Jimmy standing in agreement, I prayed for God’s spirit of peace to reign over this house, to touch all those in it. That the aide’s rudeness would be met with peace on Jimmy’s end, that the aide would know peace from other areas of his life while he’s here with us. That I would continue to feel nothing but peace in the face of any meanness that came my way. That coming from a place of peace rather than emotion, Jimmy would be able to choose his words wisely and well and have a good conversation that would bring back the positive relationship they’d started out with. We prayed together in Jesus’ name.
Sure enough, the next day a weight was lifted off of the aide’s shoulders. He was relaxed. He chatted with me again. He even joked around with me. This was before the conversation even happened. And the conversation itself went really well.
So today I walk in gratitude of my savior. Jesus can move in hearts in ways we can’t even imagine, and He is so attentive to everyone all at once. His peace and love are perfect, and always available to us. How great our God is!!
Amen! What a wonderful response to a “sticky” situation.
Thanks! Yeah Jesus has realllllly been working in me about seeing people and situations beyond my own emotions – His love is so much bigger than that. And I really just want my instincts and reactions to be His. Maybe I’ll never get there, but one situation at a time, I’m trying!