Commentary A Christian Science Perspective

Care for caregivers

A Christian Science perspective: The caregiver is as uplifted and embraced in Love’s divine care as those for whom he or she is caring.

  • Heidi K. Van Patten

Are you a caregiver? Most of us have probably at one time or another cared for someone else, or for a household, or even a business. While this work can be very rewarding, there may be times when we give so much of ourselves that we wish someone were taking care of us.

Well, we are being cared for, always! The care that we give to others is an expression of love, which has its source in God, and as Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy once wrote, “God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 312). So, rather than caregiving being limited to our own personal abilities, divine Love is the source of unlimited, spiritual care for all. Care, then, can’t be depleted or leave anyone feeling exhausted or left out. The caregiver is as uplifted and embraced in Love’s divine care as those for whom he or she is caring.

As the mother of a very active family, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to see this all-embracing care in action. There was a week recently when each family member had to be in several different places throughout each day, and I felt responsible for making it all work out, as well as providing needed meals for everyone. I woke up early one morning not only reviewing schedules in my mind, but also feeling physically ill. I wondered how I was going to handle all the demands placed on me, especially if I wasn’t feeling well.

As I tried to get myself ready for the day, I received a call from someone who asked me to help her pray about the overwhelming work and family demands she was facing. I could have said, “Oh, boy! Tell me about it!” and commiserated with her. But I knew that wouldn’t have helped either of us. Instead, I reached out to God – the Love that I knew was truly caring for each one of us – and I found myself very naturally able to share with her ideas about how this all-encompassing, all-caring Love was meeting her need. The woman shared that she had been affirming that God is the true, spiritual Father and Mother of herself as well as of her family and co-workers, and this idea helped me as well.

Soon after we hung up, I felt free of all symptoms of illness as well as any sense of burden. And our family’s busy week continued joyfully and harmoniously.

As we understand more of God’s unlimited love for us, His beloved children, we find not only strength and endurance, but also a release from the burden of feeling that our ability to care for others could ever be limited or inadequate.

A version of this article aired on the Aug. 28, 2017, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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