Monday, February 05, 2007

In Sickness and In Health


On Saturday afternoon, Joe and I attended the center city wedding of our friends' daughter. It was a lovely wedding, practically perfect. We watched as Jaime and Dennis promised to love each other under all circumstances, and we listened to the homily where part of the emphasis was on their having become one, rather than two, in the eyes of God.
. . . .
I imagine I wasn't the only person present who thought back to my own wedding day -- just a few months short of forty years ago -- and having made those same promises. I was and am thankful that there have been far more times of health than sickness, of comfortable rather than poor, and so many more times of better than worse. I wished the same for Dennis and Jaime.
. . . .
On Sunday afternoon I left church as a eucharistic minister to take Communion to one of our members who has been very sick for a long time. Her name has been in the Sunday prayers for as long as most of us can remember. When I got to her home, I learned that she had had a bad night and was sleeping -- not up to a visit or Communion.
. . . .
I spent the better part of an hour with her husband, mostly just listening. It was a painful visit for me as the stark and lengthy reality of his life came to light. Not only have the years of medical care taken a tremendous financial toll, but for many months now he has needed to get up several times at night to attend to his wife. It seems that all of his waking hours that he is not at work are spent at home, providing increasingly more care for his partner who will never get better. I thought of his promise to stand by his wife in sickness and in health and knew that their time together has been far more full of the former than the latter. Some pastor at some time pronounced this couple to be one in the sight of God, and this man has been faithfully by her side through circumstances that have been extraordinarily painful and long.
. . . .
I was struck by the need to pray not just for the sick, but for those who care for them. And also that these be prayers of the kind Jeannie spoke of many, many years ago when she said, "You shouldn't pray for things without being willing to be part of the answer if that is what God wants."

7 comments:

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Another touching and poignant post, Nancy. I am encouraged whenever I learn of another committed couple, it's just too easy to give up and bail out. I've been bombarded with those types of stories lately, it's completely sad and disheartening. Thanks for the reminder this morning that there are good and Godly people who take their vows seriously. I will join you in prayer for caregivers and for committed couples. Thanks for all you do in God's name!

frank said...

HOW TRUE AND UNREGOGNIZED, THE NEEDS OF THE CAREGIVER. MY OWN WIFE IS A 24/7 CAREGIVER AND HER ACTIONS SAYS LOVE IN A LANGUAGE DEEPER THAN WORDS.

Su Bee said...

What a heartfelt post - thank you for sharing that with us. Blessings.

Pam said...

I so enjoy reading your posts. Thank you - they always give me pause to reflect and review my own thoughts and experiences.

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shelina said...

This is a sweet post Nancy. You are right, the people who do the caring need our prayers as much as if not more than the people who need the caring.

Morah said...

You are a kind, kind lady and I wish I lived nearer and could be your friend. I love your posts. They cross all religious lines and get down to the nitty gritty of being a warm, caring individual. As Mrs. Goodneedle said, touching and poignant.