Neglecting Parents

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I am haunted by something that happened at the assisted living where my Mom lives. I was doing some photography for the facility by taking pictures of their veterans where they proudly display them on the “Wall of Fame.” I had one more veteran scheduled and was waiting. The activities director came to tell me he wouldn’t be coming. “Is he sick?”…I asked. The activities director then informed me of his “sickness.” The problem…he was “heart sick.” Father’s Day had been the week before and none of his children called him…none.

There have always been children who have neglected parents…but, in my opinion, there seems to be more acceptance of tossing parents to the side. Entitlement goes so far to say… “You aren’t worthy of my time.”  Until you are a parent of a grown child, you cannot possibly understand how incidents like the one told, are heart breaking.

Exodus 20:12 says…“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Do you realize this is a command with a promise. Honoring your parents will allow YOU longer days in the land God gave you. Of all the 10 commandments…this is the one the extra tag on it.  Obviously it was important enough..to God…that HE wanted to make sure we understood the value.

ALL parents have made mistakes. Some of their mistakes have larger consequences…or at least should. However…respect is a must when it comes to dealing with parents. Even as adult children, one can respect a parent without condoning behavior that is contrary to God’s will.

I am going back today to take this man’s picture. His wife convinced him to do it. Every veteran that comes for pictures gets a big handshake from me and a “Thank you for serving our country.” I haven’t found one yet who doesn’t accept that gratitude with humility. I am hoping a small gesture of gratitude can somehow dull the ache of ungrateful children and maybe give him a smile…at least for the moment.

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