Nancy VandeWater, a member of my church family, told me the following story. I believe it embodies the keys to ensuring that our children will grow up to be compassionate caregivers, so I share it with you here.
A short time ago I was to spend the day with my nine year old granddaughter, Emily. When I picked her up she excitedly asked what we were going to do. She and I were anticipating a nice “Grandma Day” with just the two of us. I told her that first we had to pick up Doris, a 97 year old member of my church and take her to the doctor.
Emily said, “Oh boring!” and I just knew I was in for trouble. She became very quiet–I thought that she was sulking–and then she said, “Grandma, why do you do that kind of stuff?” I told her that her bracelet that says “W.W.J.D.”–What Would Jesus Do?–was why I was doing it. Taking an elderly lady to the doctor would be what Jesus would do if He were here, and when we do it, it’s like He’s doing it through us. She didn’t say anything and I figured that one went right over her head.
When we got Doris to her doctor, she also needed a hip x-ray. What was going to be an hour job turned out to be over 4 hours! BUT Emily really surprised me. She pushed the wheel chair, opened doors, talked and read to Doris; Emily completely charmed both of us.
On the way home Emily said that she really had a “fun day.”
Nancy, the grandmother, ended the story by saying, “You never know when special opportunities come one’s way.”
May we also model caregiving; so that our children and grandchildren know its importance and how to care for those who are suffering.