Every family member or friend you know who has dementia or needs a caregiver for any reason is Jesus on his cross. That man, that woman whose brain is being stripped of the life it once had is Jesus stripped of his clothing to be crucified. Those who can no longer handle their finances properly, no longer remember to take their pills on time, no longer bathe themselves, no longer able to walk independently are Jesus nailed to the cross.
Likewise, everyone who is a caregiver for a loved one who has dementia is Jesus on his cross. Here is a caregiver’s prayer for that important ministry.
Holy Spirit, help me to look past what is so irritating about them to see Jesus suffering in them.
Holy Spirit, help me to separate from this disease their past sins and my memories of their shortcomings, and to forgive them for the past and not hold today’s deteriorating brain against them.
Holy Spirit, help me to remember that I am serving Jesus when I am dealing with someone who has dementia. Be my strength, Lord Jesus, to help You carry their cross. Father, forgive them, for they truly do not know what they are doing.
Holy Spirit, help me to accept the reality that the problems I am having with them today are caused by gaps in their brains, and as those gaps continue to increase, provide me with Your ability to bridge those gaps. But when I fail, help me to know that You are pleased that I have tried, lessening the sting of the failure.
Although it may be difficult for me to feel compassion for someone who is mistreating me through their dementia-driven anger and accusations, maybe even through eyes that never saw me the way I wanted them to, help me, O Lord, to feel Your peace as I minister to You by caring for them. And as You help me to see Your suffering in them, also give me eyes to also see You as One who is caring for me. Help me to become more aware of how much You care about me.
Thank You, my God, for Your closeness and compassion and for Your supernatural help.
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica