Wednesday, March 21, 2007


When I was at the latest CAPPE conference, I ran into one of my college buddies. She is the co-editor of the book, Spiritual caregiving in the hospital. Windows to chaplaincy ministry.
I have been reading it on and off since my return last month. The book is a compilation of essays from those practicing in the field of Spiritual Care. The authors are from Canada and the U.S. I am currently reading an essay about spiritual caregiving to terminally ill people. There is a quote from Robert McFarlane's book, Now That I Have Cancer...I Am Whole: Meditations for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them.

A scrawny, hairless man. Those formerly marvelous, marathoning muscles just hang on bones of unproductive and depleted marrow. The bright blue eyes are bloodshot. They peak out through tiny slits where my eyelids have glued themselves to each other. This skinny man is bent over, divided by an angry, red scar that looks like an N-gauge model railroad track .. My lips are red and puffy, like a sad circus clown. That’s the view through the eyes of reality.

Then there are the eyes of love. My wife sighs, “Every time I look at you, I fall in love all over again.” My daughters say, “Remember what good times we had when we were little girls and you lay down on the sofa after supper and we’d sit on the back of it and roll you off with our feet? You are the best dad ever.” My teammates call to say, “Hurry back. Nobody else has the reflexes to play third base as close to the batter as you do.” A now grown man tells me, “You have no idea how important you are to all of us on the campus in the sixties. You made us believe we could make a difference.” God says, “I love you just the way you are.” Those aren’t the eyes of reality; those are the eyes of love. They see me as I want to be and yet, for them, already am. Now that I have cancer, I can see myself through their eyes. I like seeing me through the eyes of love.” (p. 11-12)

Sometimes it is hard to see with the "eyes of love". Sometimes it is hard to be seen with the eyes of love and understand/appreciate what it really is. I think that it is especially important to remember that we are loved for who are, and who we can be... through love, because of love.

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