Monday, January 25, 2010

A Caregiver's Prayer (Number 45 in a series)

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40 (KJV).

I'm fighting my share of battles these days as I watch my mother decline. Even when she is at her most hurtful and demanding, I must remind myself that I am not only caring for her; I am caring for Jesus through her. I don't always succeed as well as I desire.

For my fellow caregivers everywhere, as well as myself, I offer this prayer.

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Today I look on a face I love without the person I love behind it. Today I seek to provide my loved one’s needs, not knowing if I am even recognized. Today I move one day closer to “Farewell.”

Please help me to remember the heart and soul now hidden from me. Remind me when I don’t have a name in my loved one’s eyes that I have a name in You. Give me strength to do what I must do to provide nourishment and comfort, even when I must do battle with a seeming stranger to do so. Give me patience with the lack of recognition and understanding, with the presence of confusion and fear.

Father, give me cognizance of those flashes of the one who used to be, that I may rejoice in a moment’s gift. Give me kindness when the stranger returns. Please remind me that the odd behavior of one I once knew so well comes not from the heart but from the condition now presenting itself.

Make my touch gentle, my voice soft, my thoughts loving. Help me to fight the demons of exhaustion, frustration and depression so that I may overcome them in Your mighty Name.

When I grow discouraged, Father, please lift me up. When I grow impatient, please slow me down. Help me at all times to be Your hands and feet to the one who is drawing ever nearer to Your Throne. Remind me that what I do here, I do to Your glory and as though I do it for You, as well. Remind me to praise you for the opportunity to serve. So many don't get the chance to say "Good-bye," much less show their love through providing care.

Each time I leave the bedside, remind me to say “I love you.” This may be the moment when my loved one understands. It may be the last chance I have to say it. It will always be a reminder, even in my darkest moments.

And, dear Father, when the time comes to let go, please remind me that we will meet again in Your presence. Comfort me with Your care. Let me hold to the good memories until the day we have the opportunity to make perfect ones, in Your paradise.

In the name of Your Precious Son Jesus I ask these things,

Copyright 2010 Mary Beth Magee