CRITICALLY ILL PEOPLE may experience receiving care as a huge relief. But most people, plunged into this world of receiving care, would say it is so difficult to let go, admit to needing help, and make the long and difficult passage into accepting to be beloved while in a weakened condition. It is only with much time and with loving care that they may be able to come to a new understanding of their blessedness and to realize that there is a gift awaiting them in times of sickness. Despite having to depend more on people who have to care for them because they are physically weak, they may experience becoming fruitful in their very weakness. For example, by gratefully receiving our care they may be revealing something to us that we didn’t know about ourselves – our own gifts of beauty, tenderness, and loving service. Therefore our compassionate caring must always include empathetic awareness of the inner suffering and unique blessedness of those to whom we offer care.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)
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Have you ever discovered previously unknown gifts as a caregiver? Share your thoughts.
Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
—Psalm 149:1 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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