Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near … Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:6, 7b-9).
On 4th August (2018) I had the privilege of leading “Discussing Dementia 2: On Caring” at Forster Uniting Church. 59 attended and joined me on the journey. I commend their courage, and hope that the work being done to make Forster a “dementia-friendly community” will soon be rich fruit.
While I, and all of the participants, have different thoughts about what it is like to care for someone living with dementia, only God knows the exact picture. We may have different ways of understanding dementia and responding to it, but only God knows the best way – and so we turn to the Lord for help and mercy. We can also turn to the Lord to help us forgive: forgive those for whom we care, forgive friends and family who may not be as helpful as they could be, and forgive ourselves when patience runs thin or runs out. God’s ways and thoughts are thankfully higher than ours.
Since leading “Discussing Dementia 2: On Caring” in Tamworth earlier this year, I have made a few changes. One of these is to include a video clip entitled “A Carer’s Perspective”. This comes from the University of Tasmania MOOC “Understanding Dementia”. This video is also the basis for a Case Study in the unit CAD104, one of the units in the Bachelor of Dementia Care degree.
In the video clip a carer named Irene Jacobs is interviewed by her friend Dr. Carolyn King. It is an honest interview, one that will hopefully challenge your thoughts, and help you to change your ways. You can watch the video here:
I give thanks that Irene had the courage to speak to Carolyn, and that this clip has been freely shared through the “Understanding Dementia” MOOC. I don’t know where her husband David is in his dementia journey, but please remember Irene and her family in your thoughts and prayers.