Caring for Parents - February 2020

Caring for Parents - February 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. In many Christian traditions, followers are marked with ashes as they hear the words, “from dust you came and to dust you shall return.” It is a day of remembering that we are human.  We are finite creatures. We face boundaries and limits.

This is something that your parents are likely facing on a weekly or daily basis, as their bodies and minds do not respond as they once did. Not only are they experiencing the limits of being human, but also new limits and boundaries and losses as skills diminish and they have to give up their driver’s license or as illness progresses and they may need to move to a personal care home.

This may also be something you are experiencing as you run out of energy, wonder how you are going to get everything to fit on the schedule, or become overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving. 

And while we are reminded of our mortality and humanity on Ash Wednesday, this is done in the context of also remembering the One who made us and desires to be with us. The call of Ash Wednesday and of Lent is to return to God, which is reflected in the words from the prophet Joel that often begin Lent:

Yet even now, says the Lord, 
return to me with all your heart, 
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 
rend your hearts and not your clothing. 

Return to the Lord, your God, 
for he is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, 
and relents from punishing. (Joel 2:12-13)

Caregivers, you are a human being loved by your Creator with an everlasting love just as your parent is a human being loved by God. May that Love strengthen and encourage you as you care for your parent.

In Christ,
Pastor Rachel