How Beautiful are the Hands and Feet of Caregivers
Yesterday, I attended the funeral of Aunt Iris Litke, my father-in-law’s sister. After 68 years of marriage, her husband, Uncle Hugo preceded her to heaven. Their son, Art, and wife, Sharon and their son, Michael, were her caregivers. I’ve admired their strength yet tenderness in the care of this precious woman who struggled with tremendous health issues up to her passing. Hearing about their tender love and care for her made me want to reach out to my social media friends who are caregivers today and encourage you as you carry on faithfully in this beautiful ministry of caregiving. I totally believe you have the Father’s heart of love and compassion.
I recognize that ministry. I was the caregiver to my precious Mama for many years and into her later years, her 24-7 caregiver. Then during my Sweetheart’s illness, being his 24-7 caregiver. I watch my dear sis-in-law and her husband who welcomed my mother-in-law into their home and have given her 24/7 care. What that means is they don’t take vacations or even spend very many hours away from her. Believe me I’ve tried to step up but Mom insists on Karen being there. I get it. Her trust and security is enveloped in the devotion of her beloved daughter. Mom can only deal with a few hours without Karen’s undivided attention. I assure you — these beautiful caregivers are living with no regrets. I know. I have no regrets in the care of my mom and my husband.
Caregiving should never feel like it’s merely a duty or obligation. Caregiving can be welcomed into our hearts as a God-given ministry. It may be a hidden ministry that goes unnoticed by many, but it is a ministry that God sees and one that pleases Him. Jesus recognized its importance when He said, “Whoever helps one of these little ones because they are my followers will truly get his reward. He will get his reward even if he only gave my follower a cup of cold water.” Matthew 10:42.
As a caregiver, God will use your hands as an extension of His hands — to hold, to support, to embrace, to comfort, to bless, to help, to heal. He will use your words— to encourage, to build up, to speak hope, to convey truth, to strengthen faith, to deepen trust, to impart love. He will use your presence— to show care, to bring companionship, to wipe a tear, to soothe a pain, to dispel a fear, to rub a brow, to kiss a cheek, to hold a hand, to fluff a pillow, to reassure when there’s a setback, to celebrate when progress is made. Those actions certainly do sound like the actions and character of God. God with skin on.
As His servants, the ministry of caregiving means that whatever it is we do to help another, even if it means the simple act of giving a glass of water, the Lord receives it as a ministry done unto Him. How blessed we are to be able to make God’s heart glad as we touch others with His love. I can imagine He is giving you applause and a standing ovation for a “job well done”! In fact, He’s saying “Well done, good and faithful servants. Enter into my joy. You earned it. Receive it.”
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