By Charles Towne
I wonder, is there such a thing as a typical caregiver?
And having asked that question it seems the answer lies somewhere between no answer, or half an answer, if there can be such a thing.
I know there are exceptional caregivers, those gracious individuals that seem to have a heart and a spirit that blesses others. A caregiver that lives up to the criteria and does so graciously?
But, It is a sad statement of truth that so many caregivers, generally speaking the professionals, or those that call themselves “professionals” are doing so only for a paycheck, or so it seems!
After caring for my wife for over 15 years and being exposed to other caregivers during that time It has been my experience that caregivers come in all sizes, shapes, colors and dispositions.
There are exceptional caregivers, but never typical caregivers, those individuals that seem to be blessed with the calling. True caregivers seem to be cut out of a special fabric that can only be described as “Christ like.”
And then there are those other sad individuals that seem to hate what they are doing.
O Holy God, I am, with all my failings, and for all it means, a caregiver.
I have said it before in this book that caregiving is likely the most difficult and challenging task I have ever undertaken, and yet having said that I must also say that caregiving is wonderful because it is the stuff of miracles, and it calls for us to be better than we are.
I just talked to a very close and dear friend. He is at his absolute extremity. He is facing something that no parent should ever have to face for he is in mourning because of the recent death of his only son. His elderly father is at end of life and my friend has been called upon to be his caregiver. The challenges and unrelenting pressures of my friend’s business and life are taking a terrible toll on him spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
My friend is a Christian but, it seems that his prayers for the most part are going unanswered.
It is a point of fact that his life brings to mind our friend Job.
My words to my friend seem somehow empty as I assured him of Papa God’s great love. and his answer to me, screamed out in pain and agony of desperation are understandable:
“But Chuck,” my friend cried, “when is enough enough?”
What could possibly illicit such a desperate plea from my friend? Well, just like Job, he has been confronted with a mountain of difficulties and challenges which it seems have been almost beyond imagining.
Satan it seems has, by bringing into play every sneaky artifice of deception he can conceive, has sought, just like he did with Job, to discourage, even destroy this just man.
Have you ever suffered the pain and agony of boils? I did, seven at one time, two in my groin, three on my back, one on my neck, and one in my left armpit. I was in an absolute, debilitating agony. Job’s body was covered with boils, yes, he knew what pain was. First He lost his flocks. Then he lost his children and he lost his servants, But, do you want to know something? He never lost his faith. Close, but not quite.
Sometimes caregivers are tempted to call out as my friend did, and we call out to God with those same words from the heart, “O Holy God, when is enough enough!”
A CAREGIVER’S PRAYER
Dear Papa God, I can’t help but think of you as I consider the word “caregiver,” because You are the penultimate example of the title.
Help me to give new meaning to the title “CAREGIVER” that has been forced upon me.
As I contemplate the word “caregiver” I can’t help but think of the apostle Paul. After his Damascus road experience he called out to you for deliverance and your answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in ‘your’ weakness.” 2ND. Corinthians 12: 9.
help me to always lean on you O God, so that I can be the epitome of love to this one, your child, that you have given to me. Help me to never be typical, but to always be exceptional.
Help me so that when I am assaulted, or insulted, I do not retaliate, but that I always speak words of hope, truth and love. Please help me O Merciful Father. Plant your Holy Spirit in my heart and nourish it with the water of your great, perfect and merciful love.
Sometimes I am at my extremity as I am called upon to serve this, your beloved child, that you understand so well. Thank you so very much Father, In Jesus’ most merciful and Holy name I ask it, Amen
Please watch for more articles taken from Charles Towne’s soon to be published book on caregiving, “WHO CARES?” The book is based on his years of caring for “my darling, my Alzheimer’s afflicted wife Nancy.”
–Bless you and yours, Charles Towne
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.