CAREGIVING CAN BE OVERWHELMING, a Sisyphean challenge. Sisyphus was a deceitful, cunning, conniving Greek mythological king. But this trickster eventually got his comeuppance. He was hauled down to Hades and condemned to an eternity of just deserts. His assignment was to roll a great boulder to the top of a hill. But after hard, frustrating toil and extreme physical exertion, every time Sisyphus reached the summit, the darn thing rolled back down. …
The thought occurred to me that I might recruit help to assist with my caregiving challenge. I called a friend to meet for lunch. Our conversation caused me to pause and ask myself whether I had developed a case of Helper Syndrome. In my desire to be a good helper for my husband, Bob, I behave like a continual maternal fountain of common sense, advice, and instruction. My husband needs my help in many ways but not to do his thinking and feeling for him. …
Friends are helpers with their encouragement, food, visits, and gifts. But the greatest source of encouragement with my boulder comes from my Lord whose power turns each day’s burden into a tiny pebble in my shoe. The Holy Spirit descends upon my life and makes me strong enough to keep going when I listen to the Silence of Love.
Prayer: God of Power and Might, when we care providers lift up our eyes to the hills, we can be sure you will be there. You help us carry heavy loads over mountains, and we are filled with gratitude. Amen.
- Nell E. Noonan
From pages 228-229 of Not Alone: Encouragement for Caregivers by Nell E. Noonan. Copyright © 2009 by Nell E. Noonan. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
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Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
Luke 4:14-15, NRSV
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