Monday, August 18, 2014

Remembering the carers

This reflection by Thom Shuman on the gospel text (lectionary) for the week has a focus on the one who cares for another who is suffering from illness, dis-ease and other troubles. For this woman, it is her daughter. For others, it will be family, or friends, colleagues, or even strangers. With the passing of Robin Williams, and a reminder of the darkness and suffering that so many people endure in life, it is also timely to remember those who patiently care, support, and simply love others, holding them in embrace and prayer. Many engaged in diaconal ministry will know the challenge of this kind of deep caring, and identify with the actions and words of the woman at the end - "she dropped to her knees whispering, 'help me'......"

At the end of her rope (based on Matthew 15:21-28)
she forces open her
   shaking the cobwebs
   from her thoughts,
      wondering how
      does three hours
         pass so quickly,
      and give so little
             rest to a
             weary soul?

once again (almost as
         as the prayers
         which are never
   she cradles her daughter,
      pouring the waters
            over her from
            head to toe,
        hoping they might
        chill the fiendish
              fires deep
           inside her;
   she picks up the
      spoon smacked out
         of her hand,
      dipping it into the
         trying to bring
         a few drops of
             to the cracked
   she listens, as the
      curses spew out
         of that broken
        answering (as
            she always will),
   'i love you,
        you are my heart,
             you are my joy.'

laying the exhausted
      child in her bed,
   she steps outside
            for a quick
            breath of hope,
         and at the sight
               of the one
               the neighbors
               had been
         talking about, she
      dropped to her
   'help me . . .                   (c) 2014  Thom M. Shuman

Blessed are those who care and who are not afraid to show it — they will let people know they are loved. 
Blessed are those who are gentle and patient — they will help people to grow as the sun helps the buds to open and blossom.
Blessed are those who have the ability to listen — they will lighten many a burden.
Blessed are those who know how and when to let go — they will have the joy of seeing people find themselves.
Blessed are those who, when nothing can be done or said, do not walk away, but remain to provide a comforting and supportive presence — they will help the sufferer to bear the unbearable.
Blessed are those who recognize their own need to receive, and who receive with graciousness — they will be able to give all the better.
Blessed are those who give without hope of return — they will give people an experience of God.

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