In the Scheme of Things

Senior women hugging

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.—GALATIANS 5:22 (NIV)

I hear the door to the outside of our house slamming shut for the fourth time that morning. It’s my sister, Gail, again. Gail, who is developmentally disabled, lives with me. Although she is 54, she functions at about the level of a six-year-old.

I so want to yell, “Stop it!” She knows that she is not supposed to keep opening and closing the door. We’ve talked about it many times. But still, she does it.

Yelling at Gail is useless, and doesn’t do any good for either of us. If I scold her, she starts to cry, and then I feel bad for making her cry.

This compulsion in her behavior is such a small matter in the grand scheme of things. I have to remind myself to show Gail patience and love. She deserves it.

Because I have been my sister’s caregiver for decades, I know what unconditional love is. When I send my love to her, she sends it right back to me. Although Gail’s disability can be trying for me, she exudes joy and love to all. She is most truly a gift from God.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help us find the joy in caring for those who are not able to care for themselves.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts