Visiting the sick–it’s catching

flowers_morguefile_gedcFrom the At Home with our Faith series on how families are doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

The expression “I don’t have time to get sick” is a common one. Moving at a hundred miles an hour with work, the kids, and household responsibilities, we recognize that a day lost to coughing, fever, and aches will result in more work the next day. Too often we take our health for granted—not thinking about our throat until it’s sore or our digestive system until it malfunctions. But as rare as we’d like to believe illness is, our bodies are fragile, and none of us are immune from illness. Our response to those around us struggling with illnesses—both large and small—is an opportunity to be Christ to others.

Don’t ask, just do it. When a flu bug hit the house of Dave and Maureen, parents of five, the family went through a month-long period where one child or another was sick. Dave and Maureen were also sick themselves some of the time, and other times they were unable to leave the house because they had to care for their sick children. “Friends dropped off meals without even asking how they could help, saving me from feeling badly about actually accepting the help,” Maureen says. “One friend even brought over a sack of groceries—staples like milk and bread, and treats she thought we would enjoy. These gestures filled our stomachs, but most important, warmed our hearts, giving me the emotional boost I sorely needed.”

William, father of two young boys, stops by the nursing home with his kids to see his godmother,
who has Alzheimer’s disease. “In the beginning, I thought I needed to call first, to see if the timing was OK,” he says. “But then I realized that it didn’t matter when I came. If she was eating, we’d sit down with her as she ate. If she was napping, the nurse would usually wake her up. Liz was always so happy to see us, and I couldn’t believe how much joy our toddler brought to that Alzheimer’s unit. Normal little kid behavior that I wouldn’t think twice about at home became beautiful
and hilarious to all those people.”   …continued next week

By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for  four years running. Here’s a sample issue.

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Photo: morguefile/GedC

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