I had another moment with God tonight. It wasn’t nearly as wonderful as the one that occurred out on the open ocean, nor did it feel particularly profound.Honestly? I was cleaning up poop. All my kids seem to have this penchant for pooping in the tub, which makes for some super nasty and extensive clean-up. As I was gagging and scrubbing my hands repeatedly, I thought back to what I’d been reading less than 5 minutes before this poop-splosion.
It is one thing to say we believe; it’s another to show compassion to others, to inconvenience ourselves because we believe. While such care is incumbent on every believer, some Christians will have a particular gift and calling for this type of service. These acts of mercy are a very practical way for them to show their love for God, but also to grow in their love for God. Caregivers may hear God more clearly when they change an adult’s diaper than when they sit quietly in prayer.”
I might consider rephrasing that last statement to say “caregivers may hear God more clearly when they clean out a feces-laden bathtub than when they listen to a sermon.” Gross, but entirely possible!
We all know people who connect with God by caring for others. These are the women that come to church on “Big Cook” day to chop veggies for hours in order to put together meals for families in need. These are the couples that spend their Sunday mornings ministering to the homeless. These are the friends that take your children when you desperately need a break, fix your car when there’s no money in the bank, and bring over coffee and a listening ear on an exhausting day. They may teach ESL, spend their free time at women’s shelters or prisons, adopt/parent/give respite for children with special needs, or grow a garden for the express purpose of donating produce to the food bank but they all have one thing in common.
They are Caregivers.
I hope that you have been as blessed by the Caregivers in your life as I have been by mine. Or maybe you ARE a Caregiver.
Caregivers and Activists are similar in many ways. Activists champion changes that affect the root cause of the pain, and Caregivers are the ones who do the relief work.
It is easier for a Caregiver to connect with God while serving others, but the truth is that we are all called to serve.
I seem to remember this Sunday School story about a guy on a road to Jericho…
If you often find yourself moved with compassion and compelled to help in various ways, this may be your Sacred Pathway!
So how can you live this out, finding true connection with God instead of just finding yourself “doing” like Martha in Luke 10?
Are you a homemaker, spending your days cleaning poopy bathtubs and cleaning up tomato sauce? You are in a prime position to use your caregiving as worship. That’s worship (even if the first praise is for the invention of disinfectant).
Are you a retiree? I know some incredible retired women who spend their days volunteering at women’s shelters and pregnancy counselling centres, listening to stories and providing support. That’s worship.
Are you busy with a full time job? There’s a man in my church that donates spare time to fixing up cars for single mothers, and another one that hangs out with kids at a community program on Thursday evenings, playing Lego and fixing their bikes. That’s worship.
Do you work from home? There’s a meals ministry at our church where people bring over hot meals to people with injuries, illness, or new babies.
Whatever your passion is, go stand in the gap.
God has an interesting habit of meeting people in the gap.
Now if you don’t mind, I have to go wash my hands again.
If you feel like you would like to know more about this sacred pathway – it’s in-depth descriptions, warnings and benefits, please snag yourself a copy of Gary Thomas’ book! Even if you just read the synopsis, it will give you a great idea of where I’m going with each of these posts!
Here’s a link to a quiz you can use to help identify your sacred pathway(s). Please remember though, that just like any online quiz, there are flaws. For example, I don’t rank very high in the “intellectual” pathway according to their particular examples, but I definitely feel like that is one of my strongest pathways. Anyway, try it, maybe you’ll learn something new!