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Dear Friends

Love is a verb

Burden, Mutter, Grumble

Week of September 3, 2019
Prayer Requests

Dear Friends:

This month I wanted to highlight our topic/flier "I Don't Want to Be a Burden" and decided to see how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines that word. Oh, my!

The second definition is "duty, responsibility" and the example of it being used that way is: "forced to bear the burden of caring for her aging parents."

It seems like a loaded description that has some truth to it. There are instances when a caregiver doesn't so much choose the position as have it dropped in her (or his) lap. There's no one else. Or no one else is stepping forward to help.

But then, too, there are other instances when a spouse, an adult child, a sibling or other family member chooses to help. Wants to help. And, most of the time, is glad to help.

I say "most of the time" because even if the caregiving is based on a solid foundation of love there can be a duty or responsibility that is--in a sense--forced on one.

You have to get to the pharmacy before it closes. You have to schedule that next doctor's appointment. You have to do that load of laundry. You have to set your alarm for the middle of the night because that's when the medicine needs to be given.

Love "forces" us to do things. As a parent, as a spouse, as a family member or friend. There's the old saying that "love is a verb." It demands action. The same is true with faith, of course.  James 2:17: "Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works."

Caregiving is a series of "works."  And sometimes performing one or the other has a "tinge of burden" to it. Or more than a tinge.

I write this to relieve you of any guilt you may feel when you think, or mutter to yourself, "Man, I don't want to drive to the pharmacy right now ... deal with arranging another medical appointment ... do another load of laundry .. get up in the middle of the night ... ."

I suggest you keep in mind one of Jesus' parables about two sons. (Neither a prodigal!)

"What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went.

"The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir,' but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?" They answered, "The first."  (Matthew 21:28-31)

Sometimes the best self-mutterers are the best caregivers. Ditto with those who grumble alone or to a trusted (and tight-lipped) friend or to a healthcare professional. That muttering or grumbling can be a form of being kind to yourself. Of being patient with yourself. And both of those are very, very important.

Now ... all that being said, here are the links to "I Don't Want to be a Burden. "

Flier or Topic.

You remain in my prayers.


 - - -

This week we're so pleased to welcome Cathleen R. of Ohio as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.

And again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver! (FSJC's programs include and You can find out more about becoming a member here.

No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

You can:

sign up on-line here

or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)

or print and mail an application form.

God bless you!


Past "Dear Friends" Letters

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