April 30, 2013
The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
For many, many reasons I remember my Grandpa Klaus as an extraordinary man.
Let me give you just one reason why. It was Easter time, and I was home from high school. My grandpa, who knew he was dying, was living with us. One night, I overheard him say to my dad, "Richard, I'm really sorry for ruining Kenny's vacation."
Over the years I've worried if I did or said anything that made him feel that way. I hope not.
I share that information because, according to a company called AgingCare, I'm not alone in such worries. According to them, 73 percent of folks who take care of an aging parent are worried because they sometimes lie about their feelings. Most are honest when they're talking about the future or an illness, but 65 percent are less than honest when it comes to the sharing of their feelings about the situation. A sense of loyalty, commitment and obligation keeps them from speaking openly about any regret or resentment they might be harboring.
So that caregivers can be honest with themselves and be given an opportunity to unload their real feelings to an unknown and understanding ear, AgingCare has set up the Caregiver Forum. There an individual can come clean and speak of all those resentful thoughts they have been harboring.
And in case you are wondering if anybody has used the Forum, all I can say is there are many people who have echoed the thoughts of the individual who shared, "People tell me how great I am for taking care of my mom and when they tell me this, I feel worse because of the way I really feel deep inside. I want my life back."
As I read through the Gospels, I've tried to find a spot where Jesus shared His hidden regret and resentment about having to live, suffer and die for sinful humanity.
I've looked for such a place, but I haven't been able to find it.
Yes, I can find a number of verses where He took the Pharisees to task or voiced His disappointment in His disciples. I can even see Him kneel in the Garden of Gethsemane and ask His Father to remove the cup of suffering from which He would drink. But nowhere do I find a text where Jesus says He objected to His work of suffering and sacrifice. Indeed, He seems to be completely and totally dedicated to always being about the Father's business of saving us.
Thank God He was!
Where would we be if Jesus had said, "Enough! I'm done! I give and I give and I give, and nobody appreciates it. I think I'll just call it quits and go back to heaven."
Where would we be? I can tell you where we would be. We would be in deep trouble, and we would eternally end up being in hell - permanently -- which is why we offer this prayer:
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord for coming to earth and never looking back, I thank You. For giving, in spite of the way You were treated, You have my praise. May I sing that praise for all eternity. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries