A Seminary classmate inspired this as I experienced from afar his loving devotion for his wife who dealt with several serious life diminishing issues. This not only touched my thought process but went 18 inches down and reached my heart. He is one of many loving caregivers who deserves but not desires praise.
A caregiver, although as a kid I did not know the word, was normal in our home. My mom cared for her mom in our home for seven years. Grandma had had a stroke and became an invalid. Her walker was the strong arm and shoulder of my mom. This was followed by five years of care for my dad’s dad. His conditions were cause by what was then called hardening of the arteries. Our main challenge with him was his desire to run away. He had no knowledge of where he was going or why.
It was my privilege later in life to watch up-close a man lovingly care for his “bride” of 60 some years of marriage. She was, after several years of care, restored to reasonable health. Not too long after this, he took ill. She lovingly cared for him until he died. His wife went on to live to 100. Another man was a beloved leader in his community. I observed him lovingly care for his wife who was dying by inches a long death from Alzheimer’s. This couple was faithful missionaries. As he declined, she with energy and compassion lovingly cared for him. She was younger and seemingly full of health and vitality. But, she died. Some year later he is still alive. We had a similar recent experience where the caregiver died and her sister picked up the torch of ongoing care.
I have another Seminary classmate who has a half a dozen ills that limit his world. He is blessed by a fulltime inhouse nurse, his wife. I am sure you can all add stories when you have seen the fruition of love exhibited in care for a loved one. I have seen families set aside differences to be caregivers. I have seen divorcees care for their former mate. Recently I was aware of a grandson who quit his job two weeks early before going off to college so that he could serve as a caregiver for his grandparents.
There are many facilities now specializing in such care. Each shares some degree of compassion and care. I recall an elderly wife going daily to the nursing home to add a level of care for her husband. We salute those who sense the call to minister to the aged and aging in their declining years when they can no longer be cared for at home. We salute the many mates who give care as long as they are able. Three I think of who cared for wives afflicted by both Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration. My heartfelt praise goes to all loving caregivers who reach down into the storehouse of faith and are empowered to love sacrificially.
We indeed follow Jesus and His sacrificial and compassionate love for us. In His love and power we serve the One who says to us, “Cast all your burdens (your cares) upon Me, for I care for you!”