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The Weight of Caregiving

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2023 3:30 am

The Weight of Caregiving

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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March 28, 2023 3:30 am

I often encounter fellow caregivers struggling in horrific circumstances.  And, I just as often unexpectedly encounter folks from all sorts of backgrounds who fight to find solid ground as caregivers. In this episode, I share some of those encounters and ask what your thoughts are about their circumstances - and what I offered. 

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This is Peter Rosenberger and I'm really excited to tell you about my new book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers When Every Day Feels Like Monday.

I compiled a lifetime of experience to offer a lifeline to my fellow caregivers. Each chapter only takes one minute to read them. I know I timed them. You can read them in order. You can read them out of order. You can flip to any page and you're going to find something on that page that will help you at that moment.

It's called A Minute for Caregivers When Every Day Feels Like Monday. Go to Hopeforthecaregiver.com slash book. Hopeforthecaregiver.com slash book. And you can sign up. We'll let you know as soon as it's available for pre-order. We'll send you a special bonus feature for it, sample chapter, all kinds of things. Go to Hopeforthecaregiver.com slash book. I can't wait for you to read this book. You're going to love it. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I'm Peter Rosenberger, glad to have you with us today. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. One of the things to do on this program is show how big the tent is for the family caregiver. It's not just nursing homes. And I know that's a big part of it. And that's something that we as a society have to deal with, but that's not all that is the world of the family caregiver. And that's why I include families with special needs children.

That's why I include families with trauma, families with addiction issues, families with mental illness. And in doing so, I hopefully let individuals know that are struggling with all these things, that they have somebody that sees them and sees the plight that they're in and understands the magnitude of what they carry. And I want to spend some time in today's program talking about those such individuals that I've met, that I've talked with, and the turmoil that ensues from that.

And I want to ask your thoughts on some things. I had a friend of mine asked me to call a woman who was taking care of her husband with quadriplegia. So I did it. I could tell within minutes of the call that she was weary, discouraged, frustrated, all of the above. And she'd been working several jobs trying to take care of her husband, pay the bills for the home, and then be able to afford the workers that were caring for her husband while she worked two jobs. And finally got to the point where she couldn't do it because she would come home and be a caregiver, but then she had to pay people while she was at work. And then it just snowballed on her and she made a heartbreaking decision. She chose to divorce her husband so that she could care for him and get paid by the state.

And this is some years ago, and I think the laws have changed to allow spouses for that, but at the time it was not. And she made a decision out of desperation to do something that angered both of their families, her husband's family and hers. And they were pretty angry with her. And so I asked her a couple of questions.

One of them was, has the family ever helped you prior to this? And you could hear it in her voice. She was so discouraged. She said, no. So they criticized her choice, but they had never helped her at all. As the conversation ensued, there was a moment when she was so dignified.

It's hard to really describe the tone of her voice, but she was almost defiant. She said, I clean him. I feed him. I still sleep with him every night. He is my husband and I love him.

We're just not married on paper anymore so that I can afford to take care of him. And I was really quite moved to listen to this. And I offered her this. I said, it sounds to me like you broke the contract, but you kept the covenant.

And she started, you could hear the tears start to come. And I said, your family on both sides seem predisposed to criticize, but never to help. And I think it sounds like from what you're telling me that you would benefit greatly from telling them to back off and keep firm boundaries with these people and be at peace and love your husband and keep doing the best you can do. And we talked for a while about some different logistics of things that she could implement. And it was a really good conversation, but as accustomed as I am to these challenges of caregiving, after that phone call, I had to take a knee. So what would you say?

I think that it's easy for us to start say, well, you shouldn't do this and you should do this and you know, divorce is wrong. And yeah, I get all the things that you're saying, but what would you say to her? How would you help her?

What would you offer? And I think that when you go into this world of caring for people in desperate situations, we're going to have to hold our tongue and really think on this a bit and speak with clarity and what scripture says. This woman is keeping the covenant. She's not violating her covenant with her husband. You say, well, yeah, but she broke her contract. Who made the contract? Who's authorized in that contract? Well, it's the state. Well, the state also authorizes all kinds of marriages these days. So we have to think hard about what we're going to say to people and approach them with a bit more humility, particularly in a situation like with this woman who was so desperate and is so dignified and strong and caring for this husband with quadriplegia, when nobody else is helping and she did all that she knew to do.

Would you say something different to her than I did? If so, what would that be? Feel free to go out to HopeForTheCaregiver.com, send me a note and tell me, and we'll talk about this on the program. This is a opportunity for us to consider how we minister to people who are desperate and brokenhearted and horrific circumstances. Part of the journey of going into these places and representing Christ in this is recognizing that we're called to go into places that are not just first world problems. We're not called to spend all our time with folks who get upset because their internet is down that day.

Okay. We're called to go to the highways and the byways and bring in the lame, the deaf, the blind, the crippled and all that that represents and entails and the things that we are called to do as Christians is to minister to people in such desperate situations with the clarity of the gospel, but understand that it's going to cost you something to do it. You will grieve over this.

You will weep over this. You don't want to be in a situation where like in James you become weary of doing good works. We're doing this to reflect the same grace that was extended to us. The more we understand what Christ has done for us, the more zealous we are to be able to reflect that to others.

But if we don't have great gratitude for our desperate plight that our savior came to, how can we in any way communicate the hope of the gospel to others? And so I go back to scriptures like Psalm 34 18. When I think of this woman, the Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. This woman was broken hearted. Her spirit was crushed.

She didn't know what to do and she made a heartbreaking choice, but she did it to honor her husband and honor her marriage in the only way that she knew how to do. And I'm reminded of the story in scripture Genesis with Judah. Now Jesus is from the tribe of Judah.

Judah was not exactly a model citizen, if you will. I'm in Genesis 38 and Judah got a wife for his oldest son Ur, but he was wicked in the sight of the Lord, scripture says. So God took him out, but left his daughter-in-law, Judah's daughter-in-law, without a child. And she was supposed to have a child and she was desperate for one. Judah gave his other son Onan to her, but Onan didn't want to get her pregnant because that would be considered his brother's child and entitled to all the benefits of the brother.

He didn't want to do that. And so God took that brother out. So now this woman has two husbands that God has taken from her and Judah says, well, just live in a widow in my house.

And when my other son grows up, I'll give them to you. And this went on for some time. And then Judah's wife died. Well, Tamar still was childless and she was desperate. So she dressed up as a harlot, as a hooker, and she seduced her father-in-law as he was going to some errand. He thought she was just a shrine prostitute. And she said, what are you going to pay me? He said, I'll give you a goat when you don't have a goat with you.

Well, I'll give you the staff as a pledge. And then what happened happened and she ended up getting pregnant. And when the group found out that she was pregnant, they said to Judah, Hey, your daughter-in-law's a prostitute. You need to come out here and deal with this and they're going to put her to death. And you know, they, they were pretty upset about this. And Judah said, bring her out here. We'll burn her to death. And as she was brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law.

I am pregnant by the man who owns these. And she showed his seal and his cord and staff. And Judah recognized him in my paraphrasing in the Southern translation.

Aw, shucks. He was, he was caught red handed. But he said, she's more righteous than me. I wouldn't give her my son. And she was declared more righteous than Judah, who was the ancestor of our savior. They were going to burn her for prostitution and he praised her for righteousness.

This woman I talked to divorced her husband so that she could care for him and honor the covenant. And I say to you that what God joined together, truly no man put asunder. We'll talk more about this sort of thing when we come back. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger, Hopeforthecaregiver.com, Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We're talking about having a bit more humility when you walk into people suffering. We're called to do this.

You know, Jesus was pretty clear, sick, naked, thirsty, hungry, prison stranger. Those are things that he's serious about. And what are we doing about that?

And how do we do that? What does it look like to care for somebody who's in distress? In the last block I talked about this woman who took care of her husband with quadriplegia by herself. Nobody to help her and family certainly weren't helping her. And the only thing she could figure out to do was she had to divorce him so that she could get some kind of benefits from the state.

I think they do that now in a lot more states. But at the time this was a traumatic decision for her and she got all kind of judgment from the family that didn't help her. So when you go into those situations, if you go in and just swing in the Bible like a club, what are you doing at that point? Jesus said in Luke 14 chapter 12, Jesus said to his host, when you give a lunch and a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or your sisters, your relatives or your rich neighbors. If you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed.

Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. That's Luke 14. What do you think of that? What do you think of that verse?

I saw something once that was one of the most descriptive events of that verse. Gracie and I went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center many, many years ago, about 20 years ago, right as the war had started in Afghanistan. And we're up there and it was being hosted by the Senate Republican caucus.

And these are all the Republican senators at the time in the Congress and they were hosting this dinner for wounded warriors and their families. Gracie was invited to sing at this and we show up and it's a buffet. Now it's catered by Outback. By the way, if you ever get a chance to go to a buffet catered by Outback, I heartily recommend it. It was really good, but it was a buffet. And Gracie looked at me, she said, how are they going to do this with a buffet?

These soldiers are wounded. I can't do a buffet. And she can't. I always go to the buffet for Gracie. Now she'll tell me what she wants, but I don't work that way at a buffet. When I go to a buffet, I go back to my roots in a large family.

I'm one of five boys and my baby sister. And when we went to the buffet, you didn't talk about it. You didn't look at it.

You didn't really have any kind of discussion. You went through like a ninja and I would just be flying through it, loading it up. And they get back to the table. Then you see what you got. Oh, the headless on you.

Well, that's nice. And when people are standing in line, looking at it, I'm like, you know, come on, what's the matter with you? Get out of line.

Come on. This is not how you do it. So that's how I do a buffet. But Gracie tells me what she'd like. And I just listen to her. And then I go and do my ninja thing at the buffet, come back.

And she's like, oh, well, that's nice. They had this. They didn't have what I asked for. Oh, well, maybe they must've been out. I don't know what they had out there. I went through so fast. Who knows? But I'll go back again. Maybe you just eat what you want.

I'll go back and get you something else. But I watched something at Walter Reed that was astonishing that this event, all these Republican senators, a lot of celebrities there, and there was no press, none. And I watched these young men and women come in and they were in wheelchairs. Some of them had IV poles, devastating wounds, missing limbs. And it was, it was tough to see. Then I watched these U.S. senators get up and serve these young men and women.

It was the best use of a politician I'd ever seen. And there were names there that you would probably know. Well, I know you would know the many senators. Now some of them have gone on and retired. A couple of them are not. At our table, we're sitting with Senator and Mrs. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and he is still a U.S.

Senator, and some others. And it was just really quite moving. I was trying to get some stuff to get a drink for Gracie. And by the time I came back to get, to bring her tea, because the girl's got to have her sweet tea, and they did have sweet tea there.

Boomer Esiason, former NFL quarterback, was serving her and getting something for her. It was just, the humility was so overwhelming by these people there. It was, it was extraordinary.

A lot of tears, a lot of laughter, a lot of great food. It was a wonderful evening. And then Gracie closed the event of singing. And it was, she sang her song, We Will Stand. I was at the piano and she, she walks out there. What's his name? I forget his name.

Anyway, he was a Senator from Pennsylvania. And he introduced her and she was wearing a skirt. And so she had her prosthetic legs, clearly visible. And this was the time in Gracie's life where she was really a lot stronger than she is right now. And she, she didn't use canes or crutches or anything else. She just walked out on stage and all these young men and women who were new amputees saw her and they were just overwhelmed. And particularly women, there were women coming back from the battlefield with missing limbs. And that was tough to see.

First time in our country that's happened in any kind of numbers. And they all at the end, they, they all clustered around Gracie and were asking her about her legs and all these kinds of stuff. It was just, they just wanted to just be near her because she was like them and they were like her. And there was that connection and there was this massive crowd around her of all these wounded men and women. And I watched Senator Richard Shelby and Orrin Hatch trying to say hello to Gracie and they couldn't get through the crowd. And Orrin Hatch, who recently passed away and I wrote about this in a commentary, he looked at me and he said, I'm not important. She's where she needs to be.

Just give her my best, please. And I thought, gosh, that's humble. I mean, I was so moved by that. What a, what a dignified and an appropriate response to the trauma that these young men and women had and recognizing their need. And I think that was, it was a great lesson. And I love this because it, Luke 14 says, you know, go out to the highways and byways, bring in those. And I think we had to have a, an immeasurable debt to our men and women in uniform who have served and taken devastating wounds. And certainly those who lost their lives, we have a debt to their families, but it's, it, it speaks to this kind of thing that Jesus was talking about, where you're not doing this because, you know, you're getting something out of it and you're getting a return favor. You're doing this because it's the right thing to do, because you're reflecting what Christ has done for us. We're not in a position we can repay Christ. We're not in a position we can even understand the magnitude of his gift to us, but we are in the position where we can do what he asked us to do. And we can reflect his heart by going to speak and minister to people where they are in their distress in a way that they can understand. And I think this is the responsibility we have as believers. Are we doing this? Are we teaching this?

What does this look like? Well, first off, it looks like serving. I go back to these senators.

They didn't tell the soldiers to buck up or, you know, everything's going to be okay or all things work together for good. They just brought them a meal. They served them. And they said thank you to them.

And they were gracious to them. And, you know, that, I think that's, that's the attitude I would like to cultivate in my life, is that I don't have to go and fix it. I don't have to go in there and, and button it all up and tie ribbon on it so that it, it, everybody feels better.

I feel better about it. You know, no, we go when we serve. And sometimes it looks like just going through the buffet for them and getting their plate for them. Look around sometimes when you are out and about and you see people that may need a little extra help.

If you're in a position to do so, do so. You know, I remember a guy called in one time to the program and if he's listening, um, I apologize, I'm not trying to use you as an example, but well, yeah, I kind of am. But he was upset because he wasn't getting work as a minister. And, uh, I said, well, what do you mean? He said, well, I want to minister, but I'm just not any opportunities.

I said, what do you mean there's no opportunities? And, and he said, well, no pulpit will call me. And I'm saying, well, wait, wait, wait, that's a vocation. That's being paid to do it. If you want to minister, go minister, go sit in a waffle house, but 10 minutes and you'll be able to see all kinds of opportunities to minister to people. You know, go to Walmart, you'll see all kinds of opportunities to minister to people.

Don't go to Walmart after midnight. Cause that's, that's where it gets a little weird. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

It's a joke. No, no letters. If you're going to write a letter, write it to Peter at the internet dot Google. No, but, but the point is that we don't need a, some type of formal commission from mankind to go minister to people. We have a commission from the King of Kings to go minister to people right where they are.

Sometimes it's just a matter of asking them, how are you doing? I do that all the time in the checkout line when I'm at the, I like to go to the family dollar here. We've got a dollar store here. Well, half the folks in, in the, um, worship team that I lead at our church work at the family dollar.

And so I call it, we've had to work our rehearsal schedules around the family dollar. So I call it Peter Rosenberger, the family dollar singers, but you know, I like to, how are you doing? How are you? You okay?

I'm not trying to give them the four spiritual laws right there and help them understand the book of Leviticus. I just want to ask them how they're doing because I appreciate so much when people ask me how I'm doing. And if I blow them off with a stock answer, which sometimes I have done, I don't make any pretenses about that. I appreciate very much the ones that get a little bit more intense and say, no, I really want to know, are you okay?

Maybe it just starts with that. Just asking somebody, how are you doing? Be willing to serve, get their plate, get the door, help them with their cane. And I got a story I want to tell you about that, speaking of Waffle House, when we come back for the break. But these are things that I just want to introduce to the dialogue. You all have had a lot of time with me here on this program. Those of you who've been listening for a long time, we have a responsibility now. Let's, we've talked about a lot of issues. Now let's export it.

Let's look for ways to go out to the highways and the byways. This is what our savior asks us to do. Hey, he came to us.

Remember that, okay. He came to us. So what's our responsibility? Well, again, I think he was pretty clear, sick, naked, hungry, thirsty, prisoner, stranger. These are things that are important to him.

And if it's important to him, then it's important. Let me know how somebody did that for you. Maybe we'll talk about it on the air. If you want me to hopeforthecaregiver.com, this is Peter Rozenberger. We'll be right back. That song never gets old, does it?

This is Peter Rozenberger. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. People do need the Lord and that's one of the things we're talking about today. You just, encounters we're having with people in whatever state they're in. Are we prepared at a moment's notice to minister, not to give them the, like I said, the four spiritual laws and the plan of salvation and, and you know, grab them by the shirt lapel and say, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? And have you been baptized? Those are important things. Okay.

But maybe we can just tone it down a little bit and minister to the broken and weary and give them something to eat, give them something to drink, give them a kind word. I remember on my birthday, I told you, I'll tell you a Waffle House story. On my birthday a couple of years ago, when we lived in Nashville, there was a Waffle House across the interstate.

I would have to go about a mile and a half or so. And I love this Waffle House. I knew all the servers there and they were just, they were like family.

I'm still engaged with them, still talk with them. And, uh, we took our kids there when they were little and for 20 plus years, same crew. One of the ladies there had been there almost 40 years. It was that lady. Her name is Judy. She'll laugh. She hears this, but I was, I was going to go over there. Okay. It's my birthday.

I'm going to go to Waffle House because it's my birthday and I want to go to Waffle House. And I, you know, that's just the way it is. So I go over there and there's a, there was a portly fellow coming out the door and he was helping an older man. So I held the door for them.

And the older man was on a walker and had oxygen. And you know, Waffle House is kind of like a double door. So you go in and then you open up the next door.

So I go in and I let them out and they, they're head off to their car. And then I go in and Judy meets me at the door of the second door. She said, I ain't serving you breakfast till you go out there and pray for them people.

That's a quote. And I looked at her and I said, well, first off, it's my birthday. And I'm thinking, well, wait a minute, I'm getting turned down at Waffle House because, wait a minute, how does this work? And I looked at Judy, but Judy wouldn't go to us. She wouldn't go back up. And I didn't cross Judy, by the way.

I would never cross Judy because Judy would, she could tear into me like a hobo into a bologna sandwich. I remember one time I was holding the menu and she grabbed it out of my hand and hit me on the head with it. She says, why are you looking at the menu?

You come in here all the time. You ought to know what it says. Hurry up, I got things to do. I ain't got time to sit there and wait around with you to read them into you.

That's another quote. And I absolutely adore this woman. And I've got a picture of Gracie and she prayed together at the Waffle House.

It'll just break your heart. It's so precious. And they love Gracie.

Oh my goodness. They love Gracie over there. They put up with me, but they love Gracie. So Judy says, I'm not going to serve you breakfast till you go out there and pray for them people. I said, okay. So I go out there and by the time I get out there, the older man is seated in the passenger seat and the other fellow shut the door and he's going around and I stuck my hand out and introduced myself to him. And I said, hi, my name is Peter Rosenberger.

And Judy says, she's not going to serve me breakfast till I come out here and pray with you. And he looked at me so stunned and he started crying and I said, what's going on? He said, well, I'm putting him in hospice today. We've been partners for 24 years and he's got to go to hospice today and this, I wanted to take him out for a last meal together before I go put him in hospice.

Now there's several things going on here. The man is obviously distraught. I could tell he was, he was overweight and so, which is not abnormal for caregivers. God did not specify which caregivers that he wanted me to talk to. And I don't think he does that for any of us.

And I don't have to agree with somebody's lifestyle or anything else before I go and minister to the same grace that rescued me and spoke into my broken estate. And as I saw him overweight, he, you know, and that's one of the things that we as caregivers struggle with. We'll, we'll put on weight. Part of it is, is because we're so distressed and food can be very comforting for us and they call it comfort food. There's a reason I was going to Waffle House. I mean, let's be honest, you know, Waffle House is not exactly on any diet plans that I know of, but so I looked at him and we started talking and I, I spent some time praying with him.

I gave him my card and I told him he could call me at any time. And, um, it was just, it was a real, right there in the parking lot is the Waffle House. It was just a very special encounter. And I can tell you, there are a lot of people that would want to probably go after the homosexual issue or this or whatever. I didn't feel that that was where God had me at that point. The guy was in such distress and I just wanted him to hear a word of comfort from somebody who understood a level of distress that was credible enough to speak to his, to pray with him. I didn't shy away from who I am and as a believer. And, but at the same time, I felt that he just desperately needed to hear a kind word.

And, and so I did. And then, and I actually was able to see him a follow-up time and I haven't seen him since, of course we moved out here and I'm, I'm sure that the man has passed away some years ago, but I was just going to breakfast for my birthday. And as after, after I prayed with him, I come in and Judy's watching from the window and she opens the door, she got tears in her eyes. She said, come on in. She let me in and she served me breakfast and that was it.

And what's the lesson I've learned from that? To be ready to moment's notice, even on my birthday, even at Waffle House, even with somebody who lives a lifestyle that is contrary to scripture, this is what our savior has done. Which of us were righteous that did not require his atoning blood? We're not responsible to convert people. We're responsible to share the gospel and make disciples. That's what he says in Matthew 28, didn't say go out there and convert them.

That's his job. I have a lousy track record of converting anybody to anything, but he's got a great one. And so we'd be faithful to share what he's laid on our hearts and to share the same comfort that we ourselves have received from the God of all comfort. And it wasn't just to this man that I was talking to.

Judy was watching from the window. Now sure, she held me hostage over breakfast, but that's okay. I knew she loved me and she knows I love her and my whole family loves her, but she also knew that this man was in distress. Those two men were in distress and her heart broke and she knew they required ministry and she trusted me with that because she knew I was a Christian. And she said, you go pray for them. Now she could have very easily prayed for them, but she asked me to do it. And I look at that as a privilege. Are we ready to do that? If we're going to wear the name Christian, do people see that enough that they would even say, hey, you go pray for that person?

Yeah, they can. We know that. Let's don't get bogged down in that particular swamp area for a minute. Let's just talk about the fact that she felt this so deeply and she trusted me with that. And the emotions were very thick with her on that. I don't think she'd mind me telling you because she looked at it with compassion.

Are we doing the same? You know, I told you the story several times on this program about my bank in Nashville. And I went in there and they had a sign up in their lobby touting that they were an autism friendly place and that they had a quiet room. They had training, they had special toys if children were having a hard time while their parents were banking. And that's a place of commerce. This is typically, I got a restaurant and I got a bank who are demonstrating what it looks like to see the needs. Now, the commonality of all this is they're filled with people.

Wherever two or three gather, there's problems. And I asked the bank and I ended up having it on my program and I said, tell me the story behind this. There's obviously a story.

Why would you be doing this if there wasn't a story? There was a need for it and they saw the need to do it. Are we seeing that kind of need in our churches? Do we recognize that families come in with children with special needs that have sensitivity to light and to noise and to all kinds of stuff like that? And are we prepared to care for them? Are we so busy trying to reach the ones who can write big tithe checks?

Are we going to the highways and the byways? Do people with disabilities feel comfortable in your church? Do people with children who have behavior issues feel comfortable in your church? Do people who have all kinds of things feel comfortable coming to your church? If not, why not? And I'm not talking being comfortable in their sin.

That's not what I'm talking about. We don't need to make people comfortable in their sin. What we desperately need to do is welcome them into the environment where they can be ministered to. Come on in.

I'll never forget when I was in Ghana and we had a whole room a waiting room full of amputees. And this may come as a surprise to some of you all, but I was glad handing a lot of people. I was just welcoming in. I mean, I'm kind of like a politician in that regards. And I was welcoming all in the clinic there.

We're going to be treating them with our ministry, Standing With Hope. And I saw out of the corner of my eye, there was a lady in the corner. She's the last one. And I kind of had my arm stretched out and I turned to take her hand.

And in that last minute, you know, and you know how time can just stand still. And I saw that she was not only missing a leg, but part of her hand and the scars from leprosy. Now I understand that we as Americans are pretty much immune to this. I mean, you know, just good hygiene. You stay, it's different than probably the leprosy of the Bible, but it's still leprosy. Okay.

It's still leprosy. And you know how deeply ingrained that is in us. And I could see the look at her face. Am I welcome here? Is it okay for me to be here?

I could just see it, see it today. But my hand was already out. And in that brief second, I thought about how Jesus welcomed me not only to his clinic, but into his kingdom. He welcomed me to his table. And so I took her hand that diseased maimed hand of hers, hugged her. And I said, we're so glad that you're here.

Come on in. And we put a leg on her. And it was just such a moment for me. And I think people say, well, I don't know how to minister to people. You really don't need to overthink this. I think the easiest, best, most effective thing to do is to be cognizant daily, hourly, every minute aware of just what he's done for you. The more we're aware of what Christ has done for us, the more zealous we are to go out and reflect that to others. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. So glad that you are with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. I love the song.

This is Gracie and Skat Springs. When I wrote this, it was part of that. I was thinking about Thomas and a lot of people kind of ragged on Thomas and called him doubting Thomas. He said, I'm not going to see it.

I'm not going to believe it's him until I see the wounds. And I, I look at Thomas a lot differently. I see Thomas when he recognizes the risen Lord and he falls down on his knees. And he doesn't talk about heaven.

He doesn't talk about streets of gold. I get to go to heaven. I don't have to go to hell. He simply says, my Lord and my God. That's, you know, that's what I'm, I'm wanting to help people understand.

I want to share all the things in scripture that we are asked to and get to share with folks. But I think we have to approach the broken and the weary and the blame and the crippled and the distraught and the despairing with a tenderness and humility and respect the trauma that they're in. Build the relationship and get to know them.

Spend time with them. Don't just put another notch in our belts. Say, well, we got another one into the kingdom.

Like we had anything to do with it. God does it need me for anything. He doesn't need me to evangelize. He asked me, he commissions me. He invites me to be a part of his kingdom of what he's doing, of advancing his kingdom on earth.

It is my great pleasure to do so. But the moment we start thinking God needs us, we've stepped into error. And there's a, there's a word that is used.

It's called a satiety. He is sufficient all in himself. He doesn't need us for anything, but we are given the great privilege to participate in the advancement of it. First off, we're invited into his kingdom. And because of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, we are saved into this and we are invited then to participate in the advancement of his kingdom. And how could we not, how could we not, once we understand the magnitude of what he has done on our behalf, how could we not share this with others and go and minister to the distressed, go and minister to people who are falling apart. You remember in Job, the second chapter, his friends came and sat with him for seven days quiet because they were just aghast at what happened to him. And then when they opened their mouths to speak is when it all came apart theologically and God allowed 30 something chapters of bad theology to be on parade before he shows up in the whirlwind and questions Job in such a way that Job recognizes that this is too big. And he, he yields to the almighty. And I think this is the place where I'm learning to be is just recognize it's just too big. And I will be ready to moments notice to reflect what has happened to me.

And I don't have any power to understand other people's suffering, any power to understand Gracie's, any power to understand any of these things on how this fits into his decree, but I can trust him because of what he did at the cross. And I want to end with the, another story of a lady I talked to who called me up and she wanted me to help her get her husband out of prison early. And I said, well, okay, give me some more information here. And he was 93 years old. I think had Alzheimer's and she was his second wife and was getting close to 70. And I said, well, what is he in prison for? And she said, he's a sex offender, but he's innocent.

So when did he go to prison in his eighties? Well, I, I didn't say to her, but I will say now that, you know, chances are that they don't send men in their eighties to prison for sex offense unless there's something to that. But I didn't go there.

And in all fairness, when Alzheimer's kicks in, sometimes inhibitions get all wonky and people act out inappropriately. And so there could have been, who knows? So I just, that wasn't part of the conversation. And I, she was, she wanted to bring him home to take care of him for the last part of his life. And I appreciate that.

I really do. I thought that was very noble of her and said as much, but then I asked her some qualifying questions. For example, I asked if her home was handicap accessible. She said, well, no. I said, do you have the resources to convert it so that you could get him into the home?

You could bathe him and do all the things that are necessary to care for him. She said, no. I said, if he gets out early, he will still have to go on the sex offender registry, regardless of what you may think of his guilt or innocence.

He'll still have to be on the registry. If you guys live too close to a school or other type facilities, you may have to move. Are you prepared to do that? She said, no. I said, how strong are you? Are you physically strong? How's your health? She says, not really good. I could tell she was a heavy smoker.

It sounded like she was a heavy smoker. And I switched gears for a minute and I told her about a structure out here on my father-in-law's property that I helped him build here in Montana. And it's open on one side and offset open on the other side so that the horses can get in during the winter time because they stay out all winter, but they can get in out of the bitter winds that come particularly 30, 40 below and they have a place to get into and it keeps them warm and sheltered. It's not a barn.

It's not perfect. But I told her about how brutal the winds can be here in Montana in the winter time. And then I said, does he know who you are?

And she said, sometimes. And I said, well, right now that prison is like that shelter that my father-in-law built for the horses. It's not a great barn or anything like that.

It's just a shelter for them, but it protects them against these brutal winds. And that prison is protecting you against the brutal winds of Alzheimer's. The challenges of caring for somebody with that kind of disease overwhelms the stoutest of hearts and involves oftentimes at a facility, a team of people to care for somebody.

And you're wanting to do this with admittedly not being in good health and no resources. And I appreciate the, the nobleness of what you're trying to do. And I appreciate the dedication you have to your husband, but would you be willing to possibly consider that this prison may be a provision from God to protect you? And at that point she, I could hear her sniffling and crying. And I said to her, I said, I'm not asking you to abandon your husband by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just asking you to consider that maybe there's something else going on here and to look at this as an opportunity for you to take care of your own health and to recognize that his time on this earth is drawing to a close. And the last measure of that time is going to be brutal. And you by your own admission are not up to this, but you don't have to be, that you have a provision.

It's not great. It's not everything you'd like it to be, but it spares you from this harsh, harsh reality. And we talked some more and I prayed with her and I think she knew in her heart it was the right thing to do before she even talked to me. But sometimes we just need permission from somebody who listens and understands to do the thing that we know we need to do. Sometimes we just need a little bit of extra assurance. Maybe we can borrow somebody else's courage to make some hard decisions.

That's where she was. That's where a lot of people are who deal with the things that this program talks about. And so I'm asking you as an audience, are you prepared to offer that same comfort to someone else that you've received?

Because this is what scripture says to do. Paul says in Corinthians, you comfort one another with the same comfort you yourself have received from the God of all comfort. You're not getting comfort from me. You're getting comfort that has been extended to me.

What do I have that I haven't received? But I think this is the next step in our growth as caregivers is that we start exporting the healing that we're receiving, the comfort that we're receiving. Because as we do this, we find that not only are we lifting another up, are we pointing someone else to Christ? Are we ministering to someone else? But we are getting stronger as we do it because we're repeating it back to ourselves.

We're hearing it again. I love that old hymn, Wonderful Words of Life. Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

My friend Carl in Texas loves the caregiver keyboard. So I'll head over there and play that hymn. I love this hymn. Wonderful, beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life. Are we prepared at a moment's notice to share words of life to people who are desperate, who are hurting? This is the call from our Savior to do this. He said in Matthew 28, go ye to all the world and share the good news and make disciples.

Teach them, equip them, help them understand. In their distress, minister to them. This is our invitation as believers, and this is our invitation as caregivers who understand this great gospel, to minister to our fellow caregivers with the same grace and comfort that we count on.

This is Peter Rosenberg. This is hope for the caregiver. So glad that you spent time with us today.

We'll see you next time. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called Core Civic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before Core Civic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them, so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that Core Civic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prosthesis. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials, and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona, where it's such an extraordinary ministry. Think with that, inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises, and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. Standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 16:05:23 / 2023-04-02 16:25:04 / 20

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