March 26, 2017

December 2, 2012

Humility vs. Humiliation

Sometimes Care Giving Stinks is a blog I co-host with my wife. Today we posted a bit of a seasonal thought.


I don’t think I’ve encountered a care giver with a big ego about care giving.

I’ve met care givers who are up front about their commitment to those in their care.  But they are just stating their values and priorities, not bragging.  No matter how dedicated, most spend more time talking about falling short, not being able to “do better.”

I don’t think care givers need to work at being humble, because a humbling reality defines their lives.

Most care givers I’ve met struggle less with big heads than with broken hearts.  The danger is not so much losing their humility as feeling humiliated by demands too big for them.

Many of us now enter a season that features an incredible story of care giving.  Of someone saying “Yes” to an unexpected and urgent need.  Of accepting a situation one didn’t create.  Of nurturing a life guaranteed to be out of step with the “normal” stuff all around.

It’s a story of someone who admitted her own confusion, who considered herself small in the scheme of things, who was warned that what she was getting into would break her heart.

This care giver was not humiliated because she had real humility, seeing herself and her situation as they were, while cherishing the life placed in her care and relying on a power greater than her own.

She would be frustrated.  She certainly didn’t control all of the outcomes, and she would grieve.  But her care giving would play a part in transforming our whole world, and two thousand years later we still lift up words she sang to celebrate the care giving entrusted to her:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
  for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
  the Almighty has done great things for me,
  and holy is his Name.

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Thanks Tim+

I recall my 1 1/2 years as a care-giver for my mom from 1999 - 2001.  Your words ring very true and this is a wonderful meditation.

I’ve linked it at Lent & Beyond.  Thanks for being a blessing and sharing so transparently.

[1] Posted by Karen B. on 12-3-2012 at 06:59 PM · [top]

Thanks, Karen B., for your steady work of intercession!  Care givers need all of the prayer they can muster.

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 12-3-2012 at 07:06 PM · [top]

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