A couple of blog posts ago, I wrote about how those people who are ill, infirm, or otherwise in need of care are not burdens on society but rather, they teach others to care. They also allow others to act in a loving way. Truly, caring for and about someone with illness or other chronic conditions is the embodiment of love.
But there’s a “flip side” to “we teach others to care.” No matter how willing to learn someone is, we have to be open to them, too. We have to be willing to teach – and to show care in return.
This can be difficult, particularly if you feel frustrated or angry that you need help in the first place. So often, anger is expressed outwardly toward those whom we need most. That is, those who extend care and concern toward us. Yet, if we act out of anger in the face of extended love and compassion, we are in a real sense refusing that care. And in so doing, we’re refusing someone’s offer of acting out his or her love. Perhaps refusing to allow someone to really be Christian toward us.
It is true that it takes energy to engage with others. Even a brief, generic conversation with the store clerk might be the effort that completely saps us of the energy to do anything else. Teaching is one of those things that takes lots of patience, time and, yes, energy. But it is so worth it.
Not only does our willingness to be patient teachers toward others help us in our daily challenges with illness and pain, it also helps “train,” in a way, caregivers to take care of others besides ourselves. For every person we appreciate, thank, encourage, and help understand, we are spreading mighty positive reinforcement – and successfully acting out our faith, too.
A hearty thanks to the students in our midst – and a just-as-hearty thanks to the teachers, too!
Blessings for the day,