The daily gift of being remembered into God’s keeping and growing the humility of letting in, little by little, how much we are cherished and revered can change the course of our caregiving from one of dread and obligation to one of courage and acceptance.
It helps a great deal to acknowledge that caregiving is not bondage, but a holy task, one of service and dignity. It’s true that caregivers are often taken for granted, left in the lurch with the whole catastrophe. They are often not thanked, and most likely they will be criticised for the ways they are handling things. Who would want such a job unless they were called to it?
Understood as a holy task, the job shows up with our names on it. We can’t avoid what belongs to us. It arrives on the doorstep in one way or another. Having refused it previously, it will nevertheless appear again as part of our path in life. Looking back, years later we might smile ruefully and see how much we squirmed and avoided what was a central truth of our lives.
The entire enterprise shifts when we see, think, feel, and surrender to our inner yes, our acceptance of the caregiving path before us. It will test us to the core, and the test will shape us into more of who we really are.
Recognition of this kind is a mystery. We can’t argue with it, though we might try. It feels horrible, tremendous, scary, and yet so right in some unfathomable way. We can only proceed in the task by knowing that we have been in some way loved into it – remembered, revered, and recognised. It can then become for us holy work.
We don’t really know what we have signed up for, do we? Somehow it just happened. Then every day is a school day in learning what care is. We also find out what care is not. Ever so slowly we become simplified, and recreated around caring. A new centre emerges unbeknownst to us. We become part of the Mystery that is love.
I know this is mine to do. I often wish that it were otherwise. Your love has put me here.
If I avoid it, I diminish myself.
If I take it on, I must trust that You will walk with me.
I wobble. I teeter. But the truth is that You have recognised me and therefore I can recognise this love-task as mine.
I need Your help. Be by my side. Help me grow into the love You trust me with.