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Meditations for Carers
18. Living with the chaos

Mark 5.36

There’s a hymn that seems to be most people’s favourite, ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’, and it used to be one of mine. Until I became a carer, when one of the lines jarred with sudden force: ‘Let our ordered lives confess the beauty of your peace.’ I like order. I like neatness and tidiness. I even arrange my herbs and spices in alphabetical order. But now, ordered lives? Not where I am. Being a carer teaches you that there are things more important than tidiness, than being on time, than order. Chaos is part of our life. Spills and messes are inevitable. Time becomes irrelevant: things take as long as they’ll take. If a disaster happens you have to stop everything and deal with it.

Oh, we probably fight it at the start, trying to maintain the standards we had. But soon we realize that there is a full-frontal clash: we can either try to keep things the way they were, and have exhausted, unhappy lives, or accept the chaos as part of the landscape we’re currently living in, and achieve a measure of peace. I reckon Jesus didn’t have a Filofax or a watch. He made time for people – the haemorrhaging woman who touched his robe while Jairus was trying to hurry him to save his daughter’s life. It all turned out right in the end but Jairus must have been like a cat on hot bricks! Like me when I’m clock-watching and things just don’t go right. As if that matters. Jesus shows me where my focus must be...

Taken from One Day at a Time: Meditations for Carers by Dorothy M.Stewart
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