I am glad—and grateful—to report that after the dark days of 2019, my days are bright again. The depression has gone away, and anxiety is rare. I know I have to live with the anxiety. When I am on the way to somewhere new, “I take my anxiety with me as a guest,” as one counselor put it.
But the hammer blows I experienced then remind me of how fragile we human beings are. I have again experienced healing in large part because of the care I received, and that care has come from other fragile human beings. This is one way God cares for us—through our caring for one another.
You may know the old story of the man perched on his roof during a flood, waiting for God to save him. He first refused a ride in a car. A boat then came by, and he refused that too. He was waiting for God’s rescue. He even declined the offer of escape from the rooftop by helicopter. In heaven, he complained to God because God hadn’t rescued him. “But I sent you a car. I sent you a boat. I sent you a helicopter. And you refused them all,” God responded.
We moved house at the beginning of the year. My beloved wife is the most prominent member of my care team—and I hope she experiences that as mutual care. Our dog, too, is sensitive and always loving. I am re-building the rest of my team in our new suburb. I have found a general practitioner who came highly recommended; he turned out to be a Christian. I am in awe of how caring the people God sends to me are.
There is a cost to this mutual caring. Not only do I need to be caring in return, in ways appropriate to that person, but I also need to be vulnerable. I can easily pretend to myself and others that I am strong. I encounter hardship, and I kid myself that I can tough it out. But the reality is that I am fragile. We find our real strength in admitting our vulnerability.
When we own our human fragility, we can enter into a virtuous circle of mutual caring with those around us. It is prudent to recognize that the carers around us are God’s angels. They are God coming to rescue and heal us. Praise God.
“You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you could become rich through his poverty.” — 2 Corinthians 8:9 (CEB)
To anyone considering the 2022 Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: Ask yourself if you are ready and willing to give your heart, mind, body, and soul to the experience. If you are, you will be changed in ways you may not even know you need. And it will continue to shape you into the future.”
Learn more about Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: A One-Year Online Offering from The Academy for Spiritual Formation here.