"The Master said, 'Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it's the main course, and won't be taken from her.'" Luke 10:41-42 MSG [Suggested reading: Luke 10:38-42]
Thoughts for Today
In Luke 10:38-42, we find the story of two sisters who had differing styles of caring for a special friend. The story illustrates how easy it is to become task oriented in caring for the needs of people and forget the importance of enjoying a relationship with the ones we are serving.
To a caregiver, the most urgent needs may seem to be the outward ones, but to a care receiver, the most important needs may well be internal—those that can only be filled through time spent together, setting aside the chores for the moment.
It takes empathy to see the less obvious needs of our loved ones. The point of empathy is to understand, not to change or judge another's emotions and responses. To be a good helper, a person has to first understand the care receiver's needs and then be able to take appropriate action. Only after we understand can we be helpful.
Think about the ways your world differs from that of your aging loved ones. You can begin to enter their world and experience life through their eyes by listening not just to the words they speak, but also to the emotions they convey. By attempting to see life through the filters they experience such as loss, limitations and desire for dignity, independence and self-worth.
It is true that caregiving can involve a multitude of tasks and details. But don't become so preoccupied with those things that you miss the main course.
Father, help me to take those special moments to spend with my parents. To listen and understand. Help me not get so involved in the to-do's that I miss the main course. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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