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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 164 - Not Cursed

First, for all who have been following the story of Strawberry the Baby Bullmastiff...she's grown.

Since this morning.

And she is fascinated by lizards!

Still haven't heard her bark. She has a very high-pitched whine when she needs to go out, but I am curious as to what her voice will sound like in full bloom.

I was recently thinking about the story of Jesus and the blind beggar, and the question posed to Him...was the blindness a result of the man's sins, or those of his parents?

Jesus said that it was neither...it was, in effect, a chance for God to show Himself in the world through the restoration of sight.

Exactly. Obviously, not all of the blind are cured, and not all of the sick are healed, but in every case, I do believe that there is the opportunity to turn the affliction into something positive. Reflecting God, if you're a Christian...and even for those who may not believe, there's still a chance to set an example of courage and compassion.

Compassion is perhaps the key word, here. Only those who have gone through a great ordeal really know what it's like. Their feelings are 'stretched', as it were, and in that stretching comes a new perspective, and an understanding of what others may be experiencing.

Immanuel Kant said that to understand all is to forgive all. The 'all' may be an overstatement, at least for mortals, but Kant was a pretty bright dude.

For the caregiving spouse, this has a lot of relevance, because you are going through an ordeal. You are seeing your husband or wife decline before your eyes, and you're seeing the future of which you dreamt retreat into misty fantasy.

Meanwhile, at work, you likely hear co-workers whose lives seem to go rather more smoothly complain that the break room is out of their favourite tea, or that someone dinged the fender of their new car.

A part of you, I'm guessing, is ready to go volcanic, with the thought, "You're whining about this while I'm going home to dying dreams and bleak hopes? How dare you!"

And that's natural.

But I'm willing to bet that there's a bigger part of you that sees the complainer as something of a child, crying over a playground insult or a broken toy...and that you're metaphorically picking him or her up in your arms and saying, "There...it's OK. I understand."

Because you've seen Hell, and it's fires have not hardened you, and that you're glad that this is the biggest problem in their lives.

I'll bet that people consider you a good listener, and someone whose sympathetic ear makes them feel better for baring their souls.

I'm betting on you, dear caregiver.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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  1. Blessings upon blessings to you and yours. Rest in God's grace.

  2. You nailed it, Andrew! Sure, I've let other people's trivial complaints irk me (and I've even done my share of trivial complaining), but at the end of the day, I find that I am more compassionate and forgiving than I ever was before my caregiving journey.

  3. Profound! And sometimes people's reactions are their way of warding off fear.

  4. There are always depths not yet explored. Life is both simple and complex. Its complexities are what make it interesting. There are whole tracks of learning we've yet to discover. Even love has an endless quality to it.
    I think one of the most challenging parts of being a caregiver or receiving care is the emotional aspects to it. There's a dullness that sets in that seems to sap the joy out of life. I'm trying to figure out how to reverse that aspect. It makes me drag through instead of seize the day.

  5. WOW! I do hope I take the mature route and love on them instead of berate them for the childishness. I love the idea that these trials make us stronger... more mature... possibly more compassionate and tolerant.

    I love the story of Naomi where she returns home after losing her husband and sons, and says, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Marra because the Lord has made my life bitter. He took me out full, but brought me back empty." Even so, He didn't leave her in her emptiness and bitterness. God used her sorrow as the stepping off point for her to become the great Grandmother of King David. She is a direct lineage to Jesus! Only use our bitter and painful experiences to bring life to us, and the world around us.

    Thank youf or your words.