Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Lent Week 6, Day 2

We are now in the home stretch of Great Lent.  At the end of this week we have Lazarus Saturday, followed by Palm Sunday and then we are plunged into the quiet and sanctity of Holy Week.  It is time to really start putting off the everyday and preparing ourselves for the balance of the Lenten journey which is somber and sober.  

So we are now left with the final two Acts of Mercy.  This week it is to visit the sick, pretty self explanatory, but not easy.

Visiting the sick can be daunting.  Many times we don't know what to say, or we are uncomfortable with hospitals and nursing centers.   Not to be crass, but those places can really smell awful, and there can be people with dementia crying out making it an "unpleasant" experience.  These people are us though.  They too worked hard, raised children, buried their parents, defended our nation, and dealt with all the other harshness that is inherent with life on this planet ...and now they are sick and sometimes alone, with their lives seemingly to have meant nothing because now they are no longer "useful".   Oh what a horrid thing to say! May God help the society that adopts this type of ideology.   

Again, this is no easy task, especially since we live in a culture that likes to keep things sanitary and pleasant.  Try to find a way though.  I'm sure if you called a local nursing home and asked if they needed volunteers for bingo night or someone to play the piano during dinner hours, they would find a place for you.  If you can't do that, send a card to someone, make phone calls on a regular basis, or drop by for even 10 minutes with some cookies or whatever.  I'm telling you from experience, that even the slightest of acknowledgments can make a difference.          


Anonymous said...

Instead of telling us what to do you better tell us what YOU do!

Desert Dweller said...

I'm sorry if I'm leading you to believe that I'm issuing commandments to the world, and not following them myself. That certainly is not who I am. But if you must know...

I do visit people in nursing home facilities. Even those who don't really "know" who I am because they have dementia at this point. One person in particular, who has since passed away, was visited more by my family than his own. I have visited invalids and done their shopping/errands if they needed it. My mother quite recently spent time in a nursing home facility, and instead of ignoring the others that were there, I made an effort to at least say hi to people and engage in a small conversations. These are not great things, I am no Mother Theresa for sure, but it is the little things that can be done that I think make even a small difference in the day of the life of another human being. A thoughtful response to "isn't the weather beautiful today?" really isn't that hard.

Sorry if it looks like I'm issuing edicts..just ideas really. Sometimes we want to help, but don't know how or where to start. All sorts of people in different stages of their lives read this blog. Some have more free time than others. Our Lord knows our lives, He knows what is possible for us to do and our time constraints. I am married with 3 young children so my time is not always my own. The one thing though, and it's in a post from a few weeks ago, that I can always do is pray. Certainly that is always at hand. And I do that everyday.

Again, my apologies to you for coming across as a dictator.

Anonymous said...

Excuses always proceed from a guilty conscience. The world is full of anonymous dictators and their precious ideas (of course you are not one of them). We know what to do--Jesus told us--so just share your experience with us.

+Thomas said...

To Anonymous, I think you would benefit from going back and reading your two posts and reflect on the tone and implications of these posts. Desert Dweller is sharing the teaching of the Greek Orthodox Church and possible ways that we can accomplish these teachings in our daily life as suggestions or ideas, not as directives.
In your first post you say "(You better) tell us what you do" and in your second post you say ("so just share your experience with us") I did this to show you that you are acting like the anonmyous dictator you mention in your second post who thinks that their way is the only way. Please take what I have said as positive (not criticism) as Jesus Christ came to save each and every one of us despite our imperfections and sinfulness. May God Bless you and make His face to Shine upon you.