The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

Suffering is an effective teacher, both for the one who is suffering and for the caregiver. I’ve learned a few lessons thus far in my 24/7 caregiving of my wife, following her accident, surgery, hospital and rehab stay, and now home health care activities. One lesson learned is that when you share the pain with others (in person, or on social media), you get varied responses. While the majority are sympathetic, prayerful, and affirming, a few are critical of any focus on the caregiver that takes away focus on the one suffering, especially when the caregiver is forced to make a decision, and then shares that decision with friends. There is a world of difference between making a decision and having an opinion. When a caregiver shares with friends, he or she finds who the real friends are. George Eliot, English novelist, poet, journalist, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era, said it this way, “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” I am thankful today for so many friends who are described in these words, and I pray for the others, that their intentions were good, and that they realize that while there is a time for criticism, this is not such a time. The Apostle Paul said it this way, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). So when you speak to the suffering or their caregivers, be positive, encouraging, supportive, brief, biblical.

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Comment by Network Creator / Coordinator on September 27, 2016 at 10:40pm
Dan, I would not have understood the motivation behind your writing this post had I not (with my wife) experienced now 10 years of caring for our parents. Her dad passed about 10 years ago in his early 90's, my dad this July at 93, our moms both living at 94 and 95. We don't want sympathy. Just be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow ... to give advice when you do!


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