Words of Hope: Caretaker
I asked Mom what she would like to say in Words of Hope as my Dad’s caretaker for over twelve years. I think caretaking might be even more grueling than having cancer. Mom had to navigate her own losses and sorrows along with the inner pain she privately carried. When someone is walking the road of physical suffering, adding to their burden seems reprehensible. The hardest part of cancer is the roller coaster of highs and lows. The promises of a new medication often disappoint, and the deep suffering of the repercussions of illness, pain, and difficulty. In many ways, the caretaker usually stops asking how they feel; they believe they must maintain hope and strength to help the beloved other not lose heart.
Daily witness to the face of suffering in those we love can be more difficult than going through the suffering ourselves. When I write this, I am overwhelmed with the image of Christ loving us enough to suffer for us, for the world. This sacrifice is the purest image of love. How many mothers and fathers worldwide would gladly take the burden of cancer from their child onto themselves? God as love, as ultimate love, bears our eternal suffering. Jesus took the suffering that we were required to endure. He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the chastening for our wellbeing fell on Him, and by His scourging, we are healed. But He also is the caretaker, watching us as we cry, grieve, and suffer. God is longsuffering. He endures the journey of love in ultimate desire for deepest friendship with us, His beloved.
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” – Isaiah 30:18