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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 249 - A Christmas Wish For Caregivers

Christmas is a special time. It's not about presents and parties and carols and fellowship with friends and family.

Christmas is about HOPE.

God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son...

Dear Caregiver, I do know, and understand, that your life may be a cycle of sorrow and dread. It is the mundane of decline, that banality of an evil that is pulling the life from someone you love...and from you.

I know the pain in your heart; I've felt it, and have seen it reflected in my wife's eyes when she sees me falling, falling.

But there is a place beyond despair, and it began, and begins again yearly, with the Gift sent to us on Christmas Day.

Christmas, the day on which we celebrate the birth of the Saviour Of The World, is the curatin-raiser on the final defeat of death. It's the first line of the first act of the Paly which ends with an end to despair, and the eternal consolation of what seem life ineffable sorrows.

It can be hard to believe, when you're changing adult diapers and seeing the person you love withdraw into a shell of pain and fatigue, a cherished mind and heart growing more remote in the shadows of a final illness.

But look at it from Mary's perspective. She knew when she gave birth that her belvoed son, cherished in every human and maternal way, was destined to be a sacrifice; she was familiar with the prophecies in Isaiah, now at the beginning of their fulfillment.

She knew that her joy would turn into heart-piercing anguish, and that trust was the only way forward.

It's the same thing for you, dear Caregiver. And also for me, the patient.

Christmas is the bugle-call of hope, whose fulfillment will come - we have to trust - on Easter Day.

Your pain will reach a peak - there's no denying that - but we believe, we have to believe, that the pain will be washed away, as the pain of childbirth is replaced by the joy of new life.

New life. That's the promise of Christmas, and the hope that I wish for you, der Caregiver.

With all my heart.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update...he's probably going to be moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


He's up over 200,000 signatures, but PLEASE keep the pressure on. If you haven't signed, please do! Please click o his name in the paragraph below.

If you have a moment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.

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.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. I can't think of anything to say except.... Thank You, Jesus, for HOPE!

    1. Diana, I have a feeling that for Him that completely covers it!

  2. Merry Christmas to you, Andrew--and Barbara, too!

    1. Christmas wishes back, Michelle, to you and Robert!

  3. What great hope and joy we have because of Jesus! Merry Christmas to you and Barbara.

    1. Amen, Rachel! We wish you and yours a very merry Christmas!

  4. Your words sing today. Thank you for them. Hope is one of my favorite words. Jesus brought hope to a despairing world, and He still brings hope far more than we may realize.

    1. Norma, thank you so much! Hope is one of my favourite words, too...and there is a wonderful movie line, spoken by Sean Connery, thus:

      "...I nurtured the hope that there was hope..."

      Thank you so much for being here, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  5. Thank you, Andrew, for all of the words you share to encourage us, the caregivers, the hurting, your friends in cyber-space, all across the country! THANK YOU!

    Prayers for you and Barbara continue; wishing you blessings found in sorrow; hope found in the uncertain...and yes, Merry Christmas! HUGS to you both!

    1. Barbara, thank you for these lovely, lovely words. We're truly grateful and honoured.

      We hope you had a good Christmas, centered around the hope that Christ brings to us all, and we so appreciate the prayers.

      Hugs back!

  6. Without hope, we have nothing! Blessings!!

    1. That's absolutely right, Paula; without hope, what purpose? Thanks so much for being here, and blessings back!