C is for the challenges of caregiving . What kind of caregiving? The care that is given to the “least of these.” It requires a form of organized, well planned and willing selflessness where the “less” (beyond all understanding) becomes “more”. It is a great mystery that, I believe, is revealed to few people. It is found through the “narrow gate” where Love, mercy, grace and joy trump selfishness. The reward is freedom and peace! Is it easy? No! Is it predictable? No! Can it feel lonely? At times. Do others who are observing get strangely angry at the Caregiver for the “least of these ?” Unfortunately, yes. The key is faith and “faith (in Jesus Christ, the Son of God) is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11) . Help comes, encouragement comes, needs are met, new language is learned, love is filled up, the mind is renewed, patterns are formed, beauty is found in new places, moments become important because the least of these are usually living just a moment at a time.
B is for broken. Family can be broken through quarrels, selfish ambition, jealousy, disorder, vile practices, desiring what we do not have, coveting what we cannot obtain. Yet I choose…”the wisdom from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Brokeness can sow a harvest of righteousness through Christ. The Bible tells me so!
A is for away. Family can be away for many reasons. Away in their minds, away in their hearts, away in miles, away in death, away in sickness, away in anger…away…away…away. I may desire to reach them, or I may desire to allow the “awayness” to remain without trying to close the ‘away’ gap. Yet, in my heart I choose to hold on to my family through love. Love remains.