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A Response to Suffering

Today’s Reflection

CAREGIVING is a deeply ingrained human response to suffering. We want to ease pain, to restore calm and peace to those in need. But caregiving takes a toll. . . . It is hard to listen to others when the pains and troubles of our own lives are clamoring for attention.

But if we learn to listen to our own needs and wants, that listening can free us to learn to become truly present to the inner deep and fragile beauty of those under our care. Then even the most mundane and repetitive caregiving tasks can become a means for us to grow.

– Henri Nouwen
A Spirituality of Caregiving

From pages 26-27 of A Spirituality of Caregiving by Henri J. M. Nouwen, edited by John S. Mogabgab. Copyright © 2011 by The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Is there something you can do to aid a caregiver today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
Psalm 92:11, NRSV

This Week: pray for single mothers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember:
John of Avila.
(May 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2013, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • joyce May 8, 2013, 6:36 am

    I am a caregiver for my husband, but he himself is a caregiver for many others. When he goes for chemo he goes alone and helps the other patients and the nurses, too, encouraging them always. When he sees others with walkers and wheelchairs he offers to race them, which always makes them laugh. His pain never shows on his face, as he always has a smile for everyone.

    • Gary May 8, 2013, 7:11 am

      What a beautiful tribute to your husband.

  • Gary May 8, 2013, 7:17 am

    In the past both my wife and I were caregivers to other caregivers. Now, down the path considerably further, it’s most often difficult to discern who is and who is not a caregiver. Yet, after I’ve left current caregivers, I can often discern caregivers through GOD’s grace.

  • robert moeller May 8, 2013, 7:50 am

    My sister and I share care giving for our Mom. I try to do as much as I can when its my turn so my sister will have an easier time on her turn.

    If we truly do what Christ asks us to do, we are caregivers all the time.

    Lord, watch over, guide, support, and bless single mothers. In Jesus’ name Amen.

  • Erica Hutchinson May 8, 2013, 5:41 pm

    I found when I was having radiotherapy recently it was a wonderful opportunity to share with others, especially the older people. We (my friend who came with me is a retired minister) had very meaningful discussions with fellow patients.
    Gracious God I pray for all care givers, and today especially my prayers are for the old and the young going through chemotherapy and radiation for cancer, wrap your loving arms around them and let them know they are loved and safe in Your arms. I pray this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen

    • robert moeller May 9, 2013, 2:54 am

      It is amazing how God uses tough situations to teach us such good lessons.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 15, 2013, 10:27 am

    Caregivers need to take good care of themselves and rest too. Help us God to know when to take a break before we are burnt out.

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