Our world worships power and money. People who work in politics and those who tend to financial matters have jobs that earn them respect and high salaries.
The workers we pay the least and seemingly dismiss, are those who care for our children, for our disabled and our elderly. In these jobs, the pay is low, and the workers must grow thick skin as they find themselves victims of the frustrations of others. They are rarely honored and rarely thanked for the tireless and quiet work they accomplish each day.
The world gives a strong message about what is important, but the world has it wrong.
Nothing is more important than guiding a lost grandfather to the dining room. Nothing is more important than calming a grandmother who still does not see her home as a familiar place. Nothing is more important than checking on a father who has fallen or taking care of the soiled briefs of a mother. Nothing is more important than lovingly arranging the day’s meal on the plate or carefully cleaning the bathroom. Nothing is more important than celebrating a birthday with bingo or greeting a family member at the door. Nothing is more important than getting medicine to the right person, clean teeth to the right mouth, or the clean clothes to the right closet. Nothing is more important than patiently answering the same question as many times as it is asked.
Nothing is more important than tenderly moving a dying body that can no longer move itself. Nothing is more important than assisting someone with her last bath, her last meal, her last time to dress. Nothing is more important than offering food or comfort to family members waiting by the bedside of a loved one. Nothing is more important than explanations gently offered for the signs of the end of life. Nothing is more important than the phone call no family member wants to receive and no caregiver wants to make.
Nothing is more important than the tears you shed behind closed doors when you lose yet another friend who found a place in your heart.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in [an unfamiliar place] and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in [an unfamiliar place] and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40
For those of you who are caregivers for our precious loved ones, the only thing more important than what you do, is what God has done for you.
You are loved.