This is called “Two Buddies.” It’s a painting of my Mom’s dogs for her birthday this week. Happy Birthday, Mom!
What I believe is immediately evident in this watercolor is that the dog on the right, “Chief”, is much older, eyes clouded with cataracts and even a bout with skin cancer on the tip of his nose. The dog on the left, “Chica,” is younger, exceptionally playful and even a little annoying at times to Chief in her baiting for play. She is good for him. She gets him moving, keeps him interested in something besides sleeping and eating and is a “pal” even though he growls his complaints at her quite often.
But he is also good for her. He is a challenge, someone from an older generation who requires prodding and prompting and ingenuity to get him to respond the way she wants.
As I care for my husband’s grandmother, who has ALS, and needs assistance ~ to “eat” through a tube, to adjust her pillows, to dress, to walk steady, to get up from bed ~ her need for me (or another caregvier) is obvious. But what is less obvious is the fact that I need her, too. Taking care of her fills a longing I’ve had since leaving behind our home, friends, church and ministries. Helping her has lifted me out of sadness and self-pity.
Giving help to others is not only good for one’s heart, soul and mind, but it glorifies the Lord when the sick, the infirm, the homeless, the needy, the difficult, the imprisoned, the orphaned, and even our very own family members are shown love in practical ways in His name. And when those opportunites present themselves to us, we need not be afraid of “the cost” but only know that the Lord will shower us with blessings when we step out in faith to love others.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
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