I have walked alongside many people while they were caring for loved ones. I knew that it was difficult as I watched from afar. It was not until recently that I became a caregiver for three people that I am not kin to. As a pastor, you are called upon for anything. Other times you are called upon because of where you live or just who you are. However it happened, I found myself on a whirlwind journey with three people with three totally different sets of needs.
I wish that I could share with you the details of these three people. I will say that I have become family to each one. In each of the three circumstances, I have helped them because I made the time and because it made their burden a tad lighter. Some examples of how I have had to advocate for people is by taking them to doctors and hospitals. When an elderly lady got ill, I was able to help get her into a nursing home. Once there, I have helped the nursing home be able to offer her the best quality of life possible. In another situation, I have managed a person’s medications since December. Three weeks ago, he hurt his back and I have tried to help him through that.
Another gentleman has cancer and sees many doctors regularly. I can definitely say that I have a much better understanding of the veterans hospital. My 4-year-old grandson recently said, “I was born to help people.” He was speaking about himself. I want him to see his granddaddy doing just that. The other night at our community dinner, he told me that he wanted to help me help others, and he did just that. He helped me carry people’s stuff to their cars. What an unspeakable joy!
We never know what lies around that next corner. At the end of February, my mom fell going up her steps and fractured her kneecap. At the same time, my wife’s mom began to have blood pressure issues and would have to be hospitalized. My mom is in therapy and doing very well. I am the one who tightens her brace best, so once or twice a day, I drop by to tighten it up. My mother-in-law is doing better, but I had to drop by daily and take her BP so that the cardiologist would have a good idea of what was happening with her BP.
This has truly been a busier than usual time for me while working with our church’s leadership to launch Mission Community Church on April 1 and care for others in our church. Some believe that these things are what pastors are supposed to do. I do what I do because I love people, not because of what people think that I should do.
As difficult as it has been, it has been a privilege for me to serve people in this way. I had many telling me that I should not be doing what I was doing, but I believed that God had put this in my life for a reason. If you have not learned anything from this article, please understand that everyone needs an advocate. They need someone who will fight their fight when they cannot fight for themselves. Yes, we all have families, but what about those who are family-less? Family-less because family lives a long distance away or family-less because family chooses not to be a part of someone’s life. My life is better when the Lord determines my steps and I put others first.