We will all experience caregiving at some point in our lives whether it’s giving it or receiving it. Caregiving comes with demands that can sometimes exceed our energy and strength. But there is great value in caring for others and a joy that transcends our imagination.
Too often our society repeats the message not to worry about other people or their problems. Instead, focus on yourself. Caring for others is often looked on as a negative thing. It isn’t. Caring connects us to others and to God. It allows us to live out the Lord’s command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
Caring for others is demonstrating our faith in action. In the letter of James, the author Paul writes, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds” (James 2:18). Our faith is alive when we express our love to people in times of need. In caring, we plant seeds of hope and perform acts of mercy.
At some point we will all be in need of care due to health, financial, emotional or spiritual matters. When we least expect it, our lives can be turned upside down. When it happens, we want to be surrounded by people who care for us because of their love and faith. Author Howard Thurman speaks about caring for others:
I can but offer what my love gives:
The strength of caring,
The warmth of one who seeks to understand,
The silent storm-swept barrenness of so great a loss,
This I do in quiet ways, that on your lonely path You may not walk alone.
—Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press)
These words resonate with me deeply. Through caring for others, we give strength to the weak, hope to the hopeless and friendship to the lonely. Our care ensures that no one walks alone in times of need.
Lord, let our faith and love be expressed through our caring; bless those who care and love us.