Loving Amid Chaos

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
Romans 12:15 ESV

Everyone I have met thinks that memory care ministry is a great thing to do, but very few are willing to stay involved for long. They enthusiastically come for a few sessions, and just about the time that the residents start to get to know them they give up. Am I saying that these folks are bad people? Absolutely not! These are the one percent who gave it a shot, and if you are a part of that group, I applaud your willingness to do so! The problem is that for most of us our daily lives, though stressful, are fairly organized, and life in memory care is many things, but organized is not one of them! But as believers in Jesus, we are called to go into our chaotic world and share His love and message. Is this easy? Jesus never said it would be – but in today’s verse, the Apostle Paul gives us a strategy on how to do exactly that. We are never to change the message of Jesus, but we are asked to enter into the world and emotions of those to whom we are bringing it.

As for me personally, I like a ministry opportunity to be prepared, planned and flawlessly executed. The reality in memory care is that people fall asleep, ask questions in the middle of prayer or a nurse walks in to bring medications to a resident while we are trying to pray. That’s memory care ministry. But don’t give up, get discouraged or quit. Jesus didn’t call us to always be organized, He did command us to love. Loving means weeping sometimes, when someone no longer remembers their children as well as laughing when they knock over your camera while you are filming (happened yesterday!) But when we stick it out through all the weeping and laughing for long enough, then the amazing miraculous love of Jesus Christ will begin to make a difference, both in their hearts and in ours. Don’t give up, walk out or turn away. Memory Care Ministry doesn’t always smell good, it is usually noisy, and restricted by lots of complicated rules, but Jesus loves them, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! Are you ready to go on an adventure with God? Then the mission field of memory care, might be the place that you will find it!

Today’s song was recorded this week at Sunshine Christian Home memory care. Paula is a volunteer who comes in to sing with me regularly and she lives in an independent living apartment nearby. I hope you enjoy hearing the voices of our Thursday morning memory choir. The blackened area on the left of the film was an edit to preserve the privacy and dignity of one of our residents. Have a blessed day everyone!

Memories and Yarn

As I have grown older, I notice there are times I go to the cabinet and open the door, then wonder what I was looking for. Or I intend to write down a wonderful idea for a story, but when I sit in my den later on in the day, I have to pray for God to remind me of what that was. I have begun to compensate for these little senior moments by making lists (and checking twice!) or grabbing a note pad, napkin or any scrap of paper handy to write down ideas. It makes me wonder if that unravellings will grow like those of a few of our senior friends or if there are simply too many facts knocking around in my head to keep track of them all. If you sometimes wrestle with remembering, I hope this little verse will give you some encouragement as it did for me when I wrote them this morning.

My memories are like balls of yarn
Which from my basket spill
And I watch as all those threads of life
Go tumbling down the hill!

So lately I’ve been wondering when
Just when those balls will slow
So they can be knit back again 
Into neat tighter rows

But then my Lord reminds me
In whose hands our lives are held
And how through every thread of life
He will His story tell

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:14 NKJV

Memories and Yarn by Peter Caligiuri © 2022
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