Day by Day

by the Rev. Paul McLain


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.

14 thoughts on “Day by Day”

    1. Me too, Malinda. It’s one of those songs you can’t get out of your head in a good way, and it helps me stay focused on the day and moment I’m in now. It was wonderful to see you and Buck at Calvary on Sunday! Love and Blessings, Paul

    1. You’re welcome, Joanna. Thanks for sharing this message of celebrating caregivers. Love and Blessings, Paul

    1. You’re welcome, Nina. Thanks for the amazing (and patient:) care you give to my buddy. Love and Blessings, Paul

  1. There is something to be said for any family member who suffers through watching a parent or sibling deteriorate before their eyes as they do their best to provide comfort and support during their own suffering.

    1. Very true, Gary. Caregivers are the unsung heroes of our age.

      It was wonderful to be with you and get some cool vibes on a hot night! Love and Blessings, Paul

  2. I have included “Day by Day” in my prayer ritual for as long as I can remember, Paul. Thank you for adding new meaning to it with this beautiful story.

    1. Kate, glad to hear that “Day by Day” is a part of your prayer ritual and that this story gave it new meaning.

      It was fun to see you and Ted as we heard cool vibes from Gary on a hot Friday evening!

      Love and Blessings,

  3. Sorry, this is such a late response to your great thoughts, Paul. I loved finding out the origins of the words to “Day by Day.” I would love to see “Godspell” again. Maybe your new friend could get a group together.

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