This week, I met a young woman who is a very talented singer, actress, and music teacher. She has done phenomenal work in the music and arts communities of Chicago and New Orleans, and even appeared in the movie “Pitch Perfect.” She decided to move back to her hometown of Memphis last year in hopes of finding ways to contribute her unique voice to the music scene of our city.
Then the pandemic hit. All the things she was hoping to do in music and acting in Memphis were no longer available to her. She wondered why she had uprooted her life and come here. Not long after she arrived, her mother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She said she now knows why she is here.
For the last number of months, she has devoted her life to being a faithful and loving caregiver to her mother. She arranged and took her to treatment appointments and walked with her mom through all the ups and downs of her journey. She was at her mom’s bedside during the final days of hospice care and during her mom’s peaceful death.
This young woman probably doesn’t see herself as a hero. She was here in a position to help manage and give care to her mom. She simply did what was in front of her each day.
That seems to be the way Jesus offers healing as well. He deals each day with those right in front of him, not just their physical needs, but their emotional and spiritual well-being.
Healing for Jesus is not an end but a beginning. Often, those being healed joined others who follow Jesus on “the Way.” Their healing and care are ongoing and they participate in the healing and care of others.
When I think of caregivers, I’m reminded of the song “Day by Day” from the musical “Godspell.” The lyrics are taken from a 13th-century prayer of Richard of Chichester and are very simple –
“Day by day
Day by day
Oh, Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
To love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”
This is a good prayer for caregivers and for all of us. I could tell from the expression on the young woman’s face that she would not have wished to be anywhere else than caring for her mother day by day.