The morning dawn glows red on the horizon as we leave the hotel to drive to the hospital. First in line for surgery means a six am check-in. Coffee brewed one cup at a time in the hotel room isn’t the best tasting, but it gets the tired eyes open and the blood pumping. We are leaving before the continental breakfast is available so there’s no orange juice or fresh fruit for energy. That’s a bummer.
Some people seemingly have a harder row in life to hoe than others. Ongoing medical issues connected with life long disabilities must become routine in our daily life. So often we can take good health and strong bodies for granted. Those who struggle with broken bodies as the norm have a different perspective on what matters most.
The Nephew has had almost a dozen surgeries in his life yet he always smiles and laughs, taking this next one all in strife. This morning he’s joking with the surgery staff, warning the attendant that since he is fasting, bringing that cup of coffee into the room isn’t safe unless he’s gonna share it with him. The friendly attendant joins in the levity, making a big deal about hiding his coffee cup on a shelf beside the door. He remembers The Nephew from the previous surgery just last Spring. Machine malfunction necessitates this surgery. It’s always something.
Where there are physical challenges, it necessitates caregiving for those with injuries, disabilities, or diseases. This a 24/7/365 opportunity for every human being to reach out, in helping those who have greater needs than we do. The directive in scripture points us towards being a willing helper, serving by ministering into the lives of those around us. How well is that going these days for you, either giving or receiving?
Whether they be strangers or close acquaintances, blood family or strong friends, widow or orphan, rich or poor, we are all broken in some way. We ALL need to be encouraged or uplifted in prayer!
The Messiah walked this earth and ministered into the lives of those he encountered. He instructs us to “do unto others as we would have them do for us.” What better example can we have than that? Everyone must be ready, willing, and where you are able, to “see a need, fill a need.” Sometimes these needs are a simple smile, a kind word, a wave or a handshake, a ride to the store.
Others are anonymous but effective acts of kindness. Going through the drive through and “Paying it forward” often makes for unknown results to the payer, but can be such an uplift and inspiration for the next in line who receives the unexpected blessing! So often they in turn do the same and it continues right on down the line! How inspiring it is to hear of these “ spontaneous giving” moments. It doesn’t take much energy at all to start a wave, one small pebble dropping into a pool will ripple outward. BE the pebble!
My life has always been one of helping those around me as best I can. For the last four years I’m living in the home of my aged parents as a full-time caregiver. There is no monetary payment to me for doing this. I do what I do because it’s necessary and because it’s my privilege and my obligation to be involved in caring for my parents for as long as they live. You might say that these good people who have certainly lived the example of helping others have given me the example of paying it forward since I was a child, and after many days the bread they have cast upon the waters of my own life, through my personal efforts now returns unto them.
We hear so much negativity in the news reports about how horrible this world is getting. That should not surprise us, for it has been prophesied. The reality is that here in America, as a country we still have it pretty good. There are those who are more than willing to share with the needy, to wipe a brow, to lift a head that’s hanging from weariness, to comfort those in despair, to rejoice with those in their victories. It doesn’t take much effort to MAKE the change!
In all this effort of one-on-one caregiving we often lose focus on the importance of remembering to care for ourselves also. The greatest lesson I have learned in this area is ALWAYS, without failing, make time to be alone with The Source of All Things. Our Father desires to have a one-on-one relationship with each of us, His children. He hears, He sees, He guides, He knows the deepest desires of our heart. As our Caregiver, He has the answers to every question, He is our Comfort, our Guide, our Stay. Embrace His caregiving by making time to stop, to get quiet and allow Him to minister into our very souls. He constantly refills us with never ending measures of HIS love so that we can effectively pour it out, to be His hands and His feet in this dying world!
As freely you have received, freely give! BE an instrument of His LOVE as you go through this life!