A case of mistaken identity


By Helen Guilford



I am now beginning my fifth month in independent living. Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t mean to give you the idea that I’m actually “living” here – that is, being totally at home and knowing where everything is (or should be). It’s just that for four full months this has been home base. When bedtime rolls around, this is where Bebe and I need to be.

I would like to tell you everything has a place and is kept in that place, but that simply is not true. When I need something that I don’t use regularly my mind automatically pictures where it resided for the past six years. Then I have to revise my thinking and go through a mental search. Some times that actually works.

Recently I was looking a dish towel I keep by my chair in the living room – “MY” chair meaning the chair I usually occupy because all the chairs are actually my chairs.

Now, I still have a pile of stuff easily accessible from my chair – necessary things in that I just never know when I might need them. And I know where they are. I don’t even need to see into the plunder corner to locate them.

I reached my right hand down where it should have touched the dish towel. That towel is always there to spread over me like a bib when I have my meal. Yes, that chair is where I eat so it made me feel good recently when a niece admitted she never used the table for eating either but sat in her favorite chair.

I reached to the spot where I should have touched the towel. But I didn’t! Wait! What is this?

Now, there is other stuff there, too – a couple of receptacles for junk mail, a lap throw in case either of us needs some warming and probably a book. The occupants of that corner change very little.

So when my reach for the towel put my hand on something hairy, I was somewhat alarmed! There should NOT be anything hairy in that catch-all area!

First thought, of course, was Bebe. But the hair I touched was not warm, soft and silky. Anyway, she was right by my end table in her cuddle bed, wasn’t she? A quick look. Yes, she was there. What else could it be? And what hairy critter could have lain there long enough to be cold and rigid?

Oh, yes! I remember a throw pillow made of llama skin I had brought from Ecuador many years ago. It just hadn’t found a home here in independent living and was in the pile by the chair. There was no major problem after all – just a case of mistaken identity.

When we are looking for someone we can trust without question, it can be easy to turn to a “trusted” friend but there’s that without question part. How often we hear our words come back to us having made the rounds of friends when we thought they were shared confidentially.

How much better to go straight to the One who can be trusted – Jesus Christ himself. He is always right there waiting for us to come to Him. Like an earthly Dad waits for his child to surrender his broken toy, so Jesus waits expectantly for us to surrender our needs to Him. He is eager to answer. There is none like Him – so no mistaken identity.

By Helen Guilford