Saturday, February 03, 2007

What is a Family? In Time of Sickness.....thoughts from Edith Schaeffer

Artiste, age 7

As he left the house Thursday morning for work, my husband commissioned our youngest daughter, Artiste, to "take care of your sisters, your brother, and your Mom". The four of us were violently sick and unable to even get out of bed. Artiste took her commission seriously, flitting from room to room bringing ice chips, popsicles, 7up, and little get-well letters written in her best, newly-learned cursive. On a couple of occasions, she popped her head in and asked, "Mom, can I pray for you?"

When I began to feel better, I was prompted to pull out one of my old Edith Schaeffer books entitled, What is a Family? In it she devotes a whole chapter to the subject of caring for family members when they are sick. Here are a couple of quotes I found meaningful:

"What is a family? A family is a well-regulated hospital, a nursing home, a shelter in time of physical need, a place where a sick person is greeted as a sick human being and not as a machine that has a loose bolt, or a mechanical doll that no longer works--to be shoved aside because it is no more fun, nor is it useful! A family should be a training place for growing human beings to know how to care for a great variety of sicknesses and for people who have just had accidents or operations because each one has received both knowledgeable and loving care and has watched it being given to others. The knowledge of what is necessary for basic care ( and what is added thoughtfulness to make the time more bearable) should be absorbed through years of living in a family."

and this:

"When illness hits we should remember that this period of time is part of the whole of life. This is not just a non-time to be shoved aside, but a portion of time that counts. It is part of the well person's life, as well as part of the sick person's life."

I find so much comfort in those words, especially the part about not viewing sickness as "just a non-time to be shoved aside". Certainly God ordains lessons in the midst of every circumstance of our lives, and seeing the little acts of compassion develop in my daughter more than compensated for a miserable day of illness.

"...I was sick and you looked after me...
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for Me.'" Matthew 25: 36, 40

No comments: