Have you ever looked back at a moment and cringed? Wishing you had known then, what you know now? Once upon a time, we allowed group members to give Christmas presents directly to children in a children’s home- cementing the notion the American was amazing… meanwhile, the person who washed their clothes, tucked them in, and listened to them cry sat watching in the background.
Knowing better, we now empower caregivers by supplying them with needed resources and gifts, so when a good grade comes home or a holiday rolls around, they can share within the context of their relationship, a special gift.
We need to take care of our caregivers, instead of looking over or around them. Caregivers are frontline workers and we couldn’t do this without them. Here are a few reasons to celebrate caregivers of all kinds around the world today, and every day.
- They see children. Dr. Curt Thompson says, “Every baby is born into the world, looking for someone, looking for them… and they never stop.” Caregivers reflect back to children, “You are seen! I know you!” This is the most significant role they play- front row cheerleaders and eyewitnesses to a life.
- What they do is hard. They do the tough jobs no one else wants to do. They change diapers, get woken up, and remember a multitude of details. They wash, clean, bathe, advocate, and willingly take the brunt of negative emotions from whomever they are giving care. If we aren’t caregivers ourselves, what we can do is be gentle and patient with those who are, recognizing how much they regularly spend on others.
- God honors their role. He sees the value of caring for others and their labor is not in vain! Hebrews 6:10 says, For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
- They often go thankless. Caregiving is a call. Doing the work of making sure someone else is physically and emotionally attended is exhausting. Can you think of a specific way to thank a caregiver? Maybe give them a gift, ask about their day and really listen, provide them a homemade meal, or write them a note. Their calling is caregiving, but it’s our privilege to be intentional and thankful.
- They are kingdom builders. As they pour into another, they are growing and seeding a new generation. To do that, they’ll need personal soul-care. Soul-care is a combination of self-care and establishing healthy spiritual rhythms. It’s critical we encourage this for the caregivers we know and love. Spiritually, self-care is being intentional to stay connected with God. Church father, Charles Spurgeon, was one of 11 children, and wrote as an adult about his mother, Alice. He said she would sometimes throw her apron over her head and say, “Mama needs to go to the tent of the meeting.” Not all caregivers wear aprons, but they all will resonate with her need for time alone with Jesus, where they can ask for a supernatural supply of whatever they need.
The Back2Back Community salutes caregivers around the world- we honor your sacrifice, we admire your tenacity, and benefit from watching your heart for others. Blessings to you, may you sense all of us cheering you on!