Lately, I've settled a few issues with my own heart and begun to sing again. That's huge. You know how I love the caregiver's cave. We can all get comfortable there, can't we? There are two things that pulled me out of the musicless part of the cave. One, I found my grandmother's handwritten music scores from the '40s in some of my aunt's things. Secondly, we had to move her piano to our house. It's in the living room... in my face all day long begging to be played. When everyone is gone but Chris and me - I play my heart out and lift up my voice to Him once again. It's been refreshing. I like it now because it's personal, just between me and Him - no one needs to hear. Freeing, really. I can sing any song I want without a list and I can sing every song as long as I want. No one to complain. You sang that last Sunday. No one to say, don't sing so many new songs. Or the flip side of that - why don't you sing songs you wrote. lol
Over the weekend though, my thoughts went exploring. You see, I got value from being on a praise team and for being a lead worshipper. I had value in the church for teaching Sunday School classes, doing children's ministry and being a youth pastor. I was a busy ant BC. (Before Caregiving.) And when all that was lost, I started to feel like I didn't have value in the body. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As caregivers, we often feel un-valued. No one seems to care about us and we are left alone to struggle through the day-to-days. For many of us, our time, efforts, energy, and life are consumed with taking care of someone who cannot care for themselves. Love keeps us by their side just like it kept Jesus on the cross. Yet we (maybe I should just say "I") can feel like we are not playing a role in the "church" of today. How can we have value in His sight by doing what we do? I'm so glad you asked - because He values the caregiver. How do I know? Well, I did a little studying early this morning and came up with a couple of verses.
In Matthew 23:11, Jesus says But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Too often, this is interpreted as working in the "church." But since the church as we know it hadn't even been born yet, that couldn't be all He meant.
I also returned to the story of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. It's a great chapter and I read it often. Jesus is explaining what He expects of "sheep." Verse 40 says to the extent you did it to the least of these brothers of Mine, even to the least of them, you did it to Me. That's pretty insightful because we take care of the "least among us." The ones who are ignored when they go in public because people are not sure how to interact with them. The ones who fall through the cracks in the medical system because they aren't "worth saving." The ones who can't walk, talk, or play a direct role in society although they shape it indirectly, don't they?
He gives us value. We are still worth dying for. He still loves the caregiver. So, today, I'm going to turn my thoughts to how He loves us just like we love those we care for. I'll meditate on how He laid down His life for me - and how I lay mine down to be a caregiver. My thoughts will be on His great love for us. We are not excluded - we are included and precious in the Kingdom of God - we look a lot like Him, if you ask me! And with those thoughts, I'll rest in Him. I'll trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?