September 26th, 2015 in Life Entertainment Read Time: 2 mins.
One of the highest forms of service in our social obligations to mankind is the caregiver.
What is a caregiver? It’s one who ministers to a person who cannot look after him- or herself. It is a person who selflessly helps those who cannot function because of disabilities. It may be one who looks after a person with a stroke, a loved one with terminal cancer or a mate with Alzheimer’s.
What is needed for this higher calling?
It takes humility. There is nothing that would attract our old Adamic nature to this type of service. No one is recommending the caregiver for a special award. The caregiver will not likely be named “Woman of the Year” by a national magazine. The faithful caregiver will not likely be featured on “Making a Difference” on the evening news. He or she is quietly going about the duties of a nurse, a servant and an encourages — all in one person.
Caregiving is not for the person who must see something accomplished immediately. Goal-oriented individuals need not apply. It is sometimes a long-term task with little observable progress. It takes perseverance; it takes tenacity and steadfastness. It is not for the frivolous or faint-hearted.
It take supernatural strength. It cannot be done in the energy of the flesh. It takes more than gritting one’s teeth and hanging on. The caregiver’s source is God himself who “gives power to the faint and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.” The caregiver can rest assured that the Lord Jesus is pleased with his or her service to one of his own creation.
One of the most difficult tasks in life is being a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It may be a husband who daily takes care of his wife, or a wife who looks after her husband. It may be a daughter looking after her father or a son caring for his mother or father.
It is so draining, so heartrending to see a loved one’s personality robbed — see dignity stolen — by this debilitating disease. Once the person was the one you leaned upon, looked to for guidance and strength. You admired his hard work and independence. You loved to hear her laugh and be with her. But neither of them are the person you used to know.
And this does something to the caregiver. You often hear the joyous first words of a baby and the laughter when the baby takes a bath. But with the caregiver of the Alzheimer’s patient, there is rarely a smile, only the blank look of mental depression and despair. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
And yet there is the tenderness of a dependent person, the moments when he knows he is not thinking and acting right. During these moments, he feels the embarrassment of being confused and helpless.
There also are times of selflessness when she gives you a piece of custard pie that she enjoys, but she wants you to have it. And there is the tenderness of being tucked into bed like a little child — and loving it.
Caregivers are very special people who need our prayers — and especially our help. If you know someone who is going through this kind of ordeal, give them a break by volunteering to help them. You will be remembered by the caregiver and blessed by the Lord.
Guy Templeton was a pastor in Ohio for 23 years and has taught in Bible schools for 22 years. He and his wife,Carol, have two sons — Stanley, a missionary in Lima, Peru, and Kevin, a teacher and coach in Soddy-Daisy.