aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Love means being there

Caring for a sick family member is a full-time job, on top of whatever else you've got to do. A family member may be physically or mentally ill; the result is the same. Having someone in the household with extra needs places stress on everyone else in the family. People get tired, they get frustrated. They need help. And not every sickness can be cured; some things just have to be lived with.

Help comes in various ways. Doctors, therapists, counselors are great. But the medical and psychological types have deliberately structured their work so as to minimize off-duty contact with those they help. Otherwise, they would drown in the ocean of need they spend their lives addressing.

Friends and extended family have a big role to play in supporting stressed families. These folks don't supply "answers" or "treatments," but without them, there is no off-time for anybody in the affected family, whether the patient or the caregivers or the siblings. They bring help and hope, not only by what they do but by supplying the ongoing love that the professionals can't supply.

And there is a special place for the Church in this. The Church family bring not only themselves, but God, into the situation. And pastors are the only professionals who routinely cross counseling and relational lines in their cure of souls. A congregation that wants to just be programmatic and not sit through the long hours with people whose problems aren't, well, "fixable" is not being the Body of Christ in the way that Jesus intended. And a pastor who is "all business" may protect oneself like the other professionals do from the drain of knowing the people one deals with too well, but that, too, is not following the example of Christ.

We are unique. No one else can do what we do. So if we don't do it, who will?

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