After the death of her spouse, the woman who cared for him through his terminal illness wondered if she could still attend her caregiver support group.
Nobody in the group had to think twice – “Of course you can come here. You’re always one of us.”
My wife and I wonder what life will be like once our son with autism moves into a group home. I think it safe to say that he’s changed us both in some permanent ways; we’ll always be “care givers” even when not running around cleaning up messes and dealing with emergencies.
The Bible says that when Jesus rose from death, his great victory was not a complete makeover. He carried the wounds of his execution.
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:26-27 ESV)
Care giving leaves marks on our souls, if not our bodies. Some marks are wounds. We tense up at certain sounds. We continue to sleep with one eye open.
But other marks can make us glorious treasures to others. Empathy. Hard earned wisdom. Humor.
We stay in the care giver club, not only to be cared for but to be good companions to those still giving care hands on.