THE PERSON IN NEED OF care is a beloved daughter or son of God. The identity is unchanged by weakness, illness, or death. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor” (see Luke 6:20), he is speaking not just of the poor economically but each of us, his beloved brothers and sisters, when we experience our human fragility. That basic human weakness is never more evident than when people fall sick or face the reality of their death. Perhaps not so strangely, however, people seldom consider themselves “blessed” when weakness befalls them. We want to help. We want to do something for people in need. We want to offer consolation to those who are in grief and alleviate the suffering of those who are in pain. There is obviously nothing wrong with the desire. It is a noble and grace-filled desire. But unless we realize that God’s blessing is coming to us from those we want to serve, our help will be short-lived, and eventually we may feel burned out.
—Henri J.M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (The Upper Room, 2011)
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How are you blessed by caring for others? Share your thoughts.
So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
—Genesis 2:3 (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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