I was complaining to my family about giving Sarah showers each morning. She wears Depends at night and each morning the diapers are soaked. I need to give her a shower before school starts and I always seem to get drenched as I try to wash her. I think I get wetter than she does! I was trying to explain to them the impossible task of shaving my daughter’s armpits.
“It’s like shaving a cat!” and while I have never shaved a cat and since my husband works in the animal welfare industry and such actions would be greatly frowned upon, it is how I feel I as try to maneuver around a person taller than me who is determined not to cooperate.
My brother looked at me with all sincerity and said, “One day Jesus will thank you for shaving His armpits.” He was paraphrasing the verse in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” While my brother was trying to encourage me, the thought of shaving Jesus’ armpits made me laugh! It actually sounds sacrilegious!
It hit me, though, all these tasks we do that seem menial and unnoticed, do not go unnoticed by God. We might get discouraged and think “What’s the point? Does it even matter?”, but it matters to God. As my father has always said, “We do the right thing because it is the right thing to do!”
My brother’s encouraging words have continued to play in my mind as I bathe Sarah each morning. I have come to realize that my washing and cleaning of my teenage girl is truly an act of worship to my Lord Jesus. I do it not because it is easy, but I do it because He has entrusted me with her and I do it out of love for her and Him. I have actually seen a blessing of her being taller than me. When I ask her to raise her arms, her armpits are now eye level for me. They are right there in front of me and perfect placement for shaving! I used to be so concerned about caring for her as she outgrew me, but it has made things easier and she is now getting so used the routine that our wrestle matches are now things of the past.
God does notice and it does matter. And whether or not Jesus says thank you to me in heaven for shaving Sarah’s armpits, I hope in heaven to hear Sarah say, “Thanks Mom.” That will be worth it all!
5 thoughts on “Shaving a Cat”
Jill, As difficult and exasperating as it has been caring for Sarah all these years with David and all in your family, I’ve always believed you were given this trial in life because thru your joy-filled outlook on life (since you were a child!) you would find some way to endure and still be hopeful. Your writing is beautiful…maybe a catharsis of sorts for your struggles and discouragement… BUT maybe another way you can encourage others with similar heartbreaks. Now that you are blogging and with all of your previous emails and with David’s Shari.gs, too
With David’s sharings, too, you’ll have a book to share with so many in the Autism family. We will continue to pray each day for your strength and wisdom in how to best endure and for Sarah’s breakthroughs. Our love, Grandma & Carolyn
When you read this to me earlier, I wept with you, and just cried again because I am so deeply, deeply touched by your sincere, unwavering faith in our Savior even with so little change in Sarah over the years. I know you need prayer support – please know that I lift you up daily before His throne, and will continue to do so faithfully. I love you, Sarah, David and your whole family so dearly (it makes my heart ache). You are precious to me, little sistah, my SJG.
Jill, you amaze me with your joy and trust in God as you face every challenge! I was so humbled as you shared with me last week about the book you were reading and how you were determined to never complain no matter the circumstance. I was also so touched as I saw you talking with the horse camp director about his autistic child. You just intuitively reach out and encourage other families who have been impacted by autism. You are passing on the God’s hope to all those you come in contact with! I am praying for you and for Sarah and your whole precious family!
Jill! You did it! And it is wonderful. Re-reading this again still brings emotion to my heart. God is so good to place us where He wants to use us. You are an amazing woman of God and I am so excited to peek into this corner of your life and see how He is shaping you for His Kingdom work. I love you!