My cousin, Dr. Vicki Gilliam wrote a book entitled, “Forty Days of Care for the Caregiver” out of her experiences as a career specialist to special needs students, and as a caregiver for her own aging mother. I scanned the book when it was written and even wrote an endorsement for the back cover. This week, as I continued to be the primary caregiver for my wife, following her major pelvis/hip surgery, I read Vicki’s book again, not as an endorser, but as one needing help. As one who has spent most of his adult life “on a stage” speaking, or “in a room” teaching, or “on a page” writing, Vicki’s poem hit home:
“Lord, I can serve you on a stage
Or in a room or on a page
Help me to love “the least of these,”
Especially when no one sees.
Quiet, and mostly behind the scenes, to most of the world Joanne might be considered one of “the least of these,” but to those who really know her, she is anything but “least.” She is now off her feet for three months. I’ve cleared my calendar, and as frustrating as caregiving is at times, it is an honor to serve as her caregiver. In my preaching, teaching and writing, I have always tried to be somewhat of a caregiver, but now I am learning that caregiving, includes care-living. I’m re-learning that the Lord didn’t just preach, teach, and heal, He was also, “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). I’m trying to be that also. Quoting again from Vicki’s book:
I know I’m not all I should be
Or everything You want from me.
Lord, make me just a ball of clay
So You can mold me in Your way.
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.