The month of November has traditionally been recognized as National Caregiver Support Month and I have been bringing thoughts to you during the month on ways to think about caregiving and support of our worldly family and possessions. This past week many families gathered with friends and loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving. Many are travelling home this weekend and we pray for their safe travels. Many spent the holiday alone, hospitalized, in care facilities recovering or coping with illness or injuries… Life journeys take us in many directions, and through it all our God has given us so much to be thankful for and so many helps in our journey.
This month I had opportunity to check in with a friend in a retirement home who was missing his family and had no real plans for the celebrations of Thanksgiving. I asked him if he had been searching scripture for ways to focus on the help our God can give. He admitted that he had not, because he didn’t know where to look. I suggested we both think of a word for his feelings right now and we would search scripture, and I opened his computer to google search. He said he needed help with loneliness feelings, so we typed in “scripture verses about feeling lonely.” His eyes lit up, he found verses and short Bible studies, and a week later came to me as I was doing a blood pressure clinic smiling from ear to ear and sharing his joy as he had found a way to remember how to focus on “the real meaning and purpose God has given.”
Focusing our thoughts and heart on what God has for us, in the midst of all the social diversions in our life, can be a challenge for all of us at any given time in our life. This week we begin the Advent Season and the wonderful culmination with Christmas and the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that in the hustle and bustle of the secular and commercialized season focus, we can all find our true focus in what our God would have for us.
My grandchildren and I are going to bake cookies and give to folks around us as a thank you for their friendship. Many opportunities are out there right now as the weather gets colder for us to help: clear leaves to prevent falls, shop for those who cannot get out, help with cooking meals for those unable to do that, keep in touch with a note or picture or phone call. The list goes on, and so does the opportunity list God gives to us to find ways to say “thank you” and “I care.”
I pray that each day you wake with a positive comforting knowledge that God is truly in charge, and the only task He gives us is to “Listen…God is calling” asking us to “Give thanks with a Grateful Heart.” (I know you can find those hymns in our Lutheran Service Book!)
Blessed week to you all as we prepare the way of the Lord!
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School