“If Jesus were to have written a book on ethics,” says Mark Galli , “he might have titled it Insignificant Is Beautiful .”
I have a good friend who has been caring for his elderly mother. She sits in a wheel chair, complains a lot, and requires constant attentionto the point of cleaning her up after regular bouts of diarrhea. What my friend and his wife are doing is heroic, virtue with a capital V. But it is hard to see how it is “significant” or “world changing” as we normally think about such things.
When we think of making a difference, we think about making the world a better place for the next generation, not caretaking people who have no future. This is one reason we are quick to push the incontinent into “managed care” staffed with “skilled nurses.” No question that this is indeed a necessary move for many familiesI had to do it with my own father, sad to say. But let’s face it. A fair amount of our motive is mixed. How much skill does it take to clean up excrement from an elderly body? Mostly it takes forbearanceand a willingness to give oneself night and day to something that, according to our usual reckoning, is not all that significant.
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(Via: Justin Taylor )