There’s a kind of listening that hears the words being spoken. And there’s a kind of listening that hears what’s going on beneath the words. A listening that seeks to hear the heart. It hears the fear beneath angry words. It hears the frustration beneath words of resistance. It hears the sense of loss beneath the insistence that “I don’t need help. I can do it”.
In the busyness and hurry of this day, how can you hear beneath the words spoken? It’s normal for angry words to produce an angry, frustrated response. In spite of resistance, there are difficult tasks that have to be done. Sometimes there are no options.
Scripture speaks often of Jesus “having compassion” on the sick and troubled. The word we translate “compassion” means literally to be moved in the depths of one’s being. It is to be moved with a tender affection, not of our own making. Often throughout your day of caregiving, let your heart be flooded by our Lord’s “tender affection” for you. Think of it as unearned – a pure gift. Then, as our Lord’s caregiver, pass his tender affection to the one you’ve been chosen to serve.
May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you. Amen.