In the course of a longer conversation, Melissa said, “I know you don’t like all the care giving stuff you have to do.”
There was no arguing the point; she was right. It gets me grumpy from time to time. Escape fantasies come and go, sometimes in my sleeping dreams, not just daydreams. That tells you how deep the resistance and resentment can run.
Of course the mind sometimes wonders if care giving is a cosmic punishment for past failures and bad deeds. Some of us are more prone to that thinking than others, but I wonder if anyone is 100% immune.
Inspiration is important. Sometimes that takes the shape of a pep talk or a kind word that provides a bit of strength.
Other times, it comes as a fresh perspective that makes the burden much lighter. I got a bit of that today,
“Well see here, daughters, what He (God) gave to the one (Jesus) he loved most. By that we understand what His will is. For these are His gifts in this world. He gives according to the love He bears us: to those He loves more, He gives more of these gifts; to those He loves less, He gives less. And He gives according to the courage He sees in each and the love each has for His Majesty. He will see that whoever loves Him much will be able to suffer much for Him; whoever loves Him little will be capable of little. I myself hold that the measure for being able to bear a large or small cross is love.” Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection (1566) 32.6
Is it possible, despite my grubby feelings, that I am both an object and a great vessel of divine love?
Maybe care giving isn’t a sentence imposed but a great honor bestowed.
I have frequent thoughts that I’m not “doing enough” of what I “should be doing” because care giving saps a good deal of energy (in my case, emotional and mental energy – the physical demands aren’t all that bad). But I find myself less able to throw myself at all kinds of workplace and other stuff, and I feel like I’m just taking up space in God’s world, not fulfilling some great divine plan for my life.
Might it be that I’m right where God wants me, doing just what God wants? That care giving itself is the great divine plan for this season of my life – maybe even for my whole life? And (big leap here) that God is pleased with this clumsy, imperfect, never finished and often stinky stuff I offer each day?
I know, lots of question marks in this. Don’t want to insist on an answer. But I like the thoughts that are in my head just now, even if they are just hopeful questions.