How Do You Answer Such questions?

What day is this?

“Why, it’s Tuesday.” (There’s only one answer to this one, although you might add the month and date, depending.)

What am I supposed to be doing? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing!

“The laundry, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, writing thank-you notes, feeding the dog….”  (lots of answers to this question, depending on the time and situation and person).

Question marks1But, what if these questions are asked repeatedly, over and over, in an unceasing, annoying, frustrating, pull-your-hair-out-by-the-roots-and-scream way, many, many times a day?

What if they are asked by someone you love, someone who is struggling mentally to understand?

The easiest (but perhaps not the best) way to reply is to answer their question directly.

Then answer the question a second time.

old man2Then, answer it again. And again. Try not to let your voice get sharper and your blood pressure higher. Try not to say, “You just ASKED that question, aren’t you LISTENING?” or “Why do you want to KNOW?” or “It’s TUESDAY, TUESDAY, TUESDAY!!!” (By that time, it may be Wednesday. You might have to check your calendar.)

But that’s just it. YOU can check your calendar with understanding. YOU can see what you need to do, where you need to go, who you need to call, what event is coming up that you need to prepare for.

They probably can’t.

How about that second question? It’s maybe a bit easier to keep your cool because you can answer it – at first – in a variety of ways. “Oh, honey, all you have to do is just sit there and look at your magazine.”  “Oh, nothing. Just enjoy the sunshine.”  “Right now, just finish your sandwich.” “Nothing! You aren’t supposed to be doing ANYTHING….Sweetheart.”

old lady3For a loved one who has worked hard all their life, been on a busy schedule with lots of responsibilities, to not have anything to do is frightening and worrisome.

What if they are forgetting something important? What if they are supposed to be some where and will get into trouble if they don’t show up? What if…?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve had only a little experience with questions like this.  And I admit, I am not a good care giver. I’m not patient and kind, as the scripture says. Not long-suffering and slow to anger, as God is. Not loving and gentle, as Jesus was with the little children, which is what so many of our elderly are becoming like.

It’s so frustrating. It’s so heart-breaking.

While I was praying this morning and reading the Bible, God gave me some wonderful ANSWERS to those questions.

What day is this?

old man.woman“This is the day that the LORD has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!” (Perhaps sing a song or two that they have known, or a simple chorus. Encourage them to sing along. If they are able, encourage them to get up and dance a few steps.)

This is the day of salvation! Let’s not harden our hearts against God, but say aloud all the wondrous things  He has done for us, especially for saving us from our sin, by sending Jesus to die in our place!

(Say honestly and with sincerity, “Thank you, LORD!” Encourage them to think about what they are thankful for. This may be hard, but keep at it, give them hints.)

What am I supposed to be doing? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing!
old lady woman4Here are some wonderful things from God’s Word that you can tell them they are “supposed to be doing” (as are all believers):

–Rejoice in the Lord. (Show them how!)

–Sing songs, hymns, choruses (aloud and to themselves).

–Pray for a friend (or an enemy or a missionary). You begin and let them pray too.

–Confess your sins to God. (Remind them He forgives.)

–Share (preach) the Gospel. (Have them tell their testimony – how they were saved – if only to YOU, it will be priceless, I promise, and they are sure to remember long ago events.)

–Praise (magnify) God for some of his attributes. (Loving, slow to anger, compassionate, powerful, kind, forgiving, healing, protecting.)

–Read the Bible. (If they can, or talk about familiar passages they might know or have memorized.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m encouraged by this.  Maybe it won’t satisfy them in the long run, but I can turn some of these frustrating times (and annoying repetitive questions) into precious moments spent with a loved one,  together with the LORD.

 

 

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One thought on “How Do You Answer Such questions?

  1. Well, my loved one asked “What day is this?” as usual and I sang, “This is the DAY, this is the DAY that the Lord has made…” She interrupted, “But what DAY? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday????” So I will now sing, “This is the Wednesday, this is the Wednesday, that the Lord has made, that the Lords has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad in it!”

    Like

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